, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 643-652
Date: 05 Mar 2009

The Relationship between Parental Efficacy and Depressive Symptoms in a Diverse Sample of Low Income Mothers

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Abstract

We examined the relationship between parental efficacy and depressive symptoms in a diverse sample of low income mothers. The sample consisted of 607 European American, African American, and Hispanic mothers who participated in The Early Steps Project, a multi-site, longitudinal, preventative intervention study. Parental efficacy was found to be significantly associated with depressive symptoms in the entire sample of low income mothers. Ethnicity moderated results, however, such that parental efficacy was significantly associated with depressive symptoms for European American mothers but was not for the African American and Hispanic mothers. Ethnic differences in the various categories of depressive symptoms (i.e., total, somatic, and psychological) were also explored, with the results showing that African American mothers reported higher levels of depressive symptoms than both European American and Hispanic mothers in each of the categories. The theoretical and clinical implications of these results are discussed.