Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 671–683 | Cite as

A Review of Childrearing in African American Single Mother Families: The Relevance of a Coparenting Framework

  • Deborah J. Jones
  • Alecia A. Zalot
  • Sarah E. Foster
  • Emma Sterrett
  • Charlene Chester
Original Paper


Clinical research on African American single mother families has focused largely on mother-child dyads, with relatively less empirical attention to the roles of other adults or family members who often assist with childrearing. This narrow definition of “family” fails to take into account the extended family networks which often provide support for African American single mother families and the influence of these other adults on maternal parenting and youth adjustment. Our review integrates the literature on the role of extended family members, highlights the strengths and limitations of this work, and proposes the use of theory and methods from the coparenting literature to guide future study in this area. The relevance of the study of coparenting for family-based intervention efforts targeting African American youth from single mother homes is addressed.


African Americans Single parent families Nonmarital parenting Development Outcomes 



Support for this manuscript was provided by a grant to the first author from the Ethnicity, Culture, and Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program and a Research and Study Leave awarded to the first author from the Department of Psychology.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah J. Jones
    • 1
  • Alecia A. Zalot
    • 1
  • Sarah E. Foster
    • 1
  • Emma Sterrett
    • 1
  • Charlene Chester
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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