Child & Youth Care Forum

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 17–32 | Cite as

Associations Among Child Perceptions of Parenting Support, Maternal Parenting Efficacy and Maternal Depressive Symptoms

  • Melissa A. BarnettEmail author
  • Tomas Cabeza de Baca
  • Ashley Jordan
  • Elizabeth Tilley
  • Bruce J. Ellis
Original Paper



Children and parents often rely on the support provided by non-parental adults such as extended family members. Expanding conceptualizations of social support beyond traditional nuclear family paradigms to include non-parental adults may be particularly relevant to identifying family strengths among economically disadvantaged and Latino families.


In the present study, we examine the extent to which child reports of parenting support provided by non-parental adults are linked to variations in mother-reported parenting efficacy and depressive symptoms, and whether these associations vary according to maternal marital status and Latino/Hispanic race/ethnicity.


The present study considers how child-reported social support specific to parenting is associated with maternal self-reported wellbeing among a community sample of 59 mothers and their 10–12 year-old children.


Findings indicate that controlling for maternal perceptions of global social-emotional support, parenting support is inversely related to parenting efficacy among single mother and Latino/Hispanic families. Further, Latino/Hispanic children of mothers with higher levels of depressive symptoms report greater support from non-parental adults.


These results suggest that parenting support may in this cross-sectional study be a response to maternal need. Further, the function of support from non-parental adults may vary for single-mother versus two-parent families, and Latino/Hispanic families in comparison to European American families.


Latino families Parental depression Parenting efficacy Single-mother families Social support 



We wish to thank the school district officials and school personnel for their support and help with recruitment, and the families who participated in the research. We also thank the undergraduate and graduate research assistants who collected the data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa A. Barnett
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tomas Cabeza de Baca
    • 1
  • Ashley Jordan
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Tilley
    • 1
  • Bruce J. Ellis
    • 1
  1. 1.Family Studies and Human Development, Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life SciencesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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