Partner Support and Grandparent Support as Predictors of Change in Coparenting Quality
Young ethnic minority parents may lack psychological and financial resources to handle parenthood, increasing the risk of negative psychosocial and parenting outcomes. Partner support has been associated with positive coparenting, although findings have been mixed. Support from young parents’ own parents (“grandparents”) has been linked to adaptive family outcomes and may be particularly protective for African American and Latino parents whose cultures espouse interdependence. This study examined partner support and grandparent support as individual predictors of change in coparenting quality, and tested whether grandparent support moderated the relationship between partner support and change in coparenting quality over the first postpartum year. Participants were 136 African American and Latina adolescent mothers (age range = 15–21 years) and their babies’ fathers (15–41 years). Partner and grandparent support were measured at 6 months postpartum. Coparenting quality was measured at 6 and 12 months postpartum, and change in coparenting quality was measured using latent change scores. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesis that the relationship between partner support and change in coparenting quality would be moderated by grandparent support. Fit indices indicated a well-fitted model. Results demonstrated that the moderator term (partner support × grandparent support) significantly predicted change in coparenting quality. Specifically, partner support was positively associated with changes in coparenting quality when grandparent support was high; however, that association became weaker and changed direction for lower levels of grandparent support. Findings highlight the need to assess parents’ social support networks and grandparents’ impact on the coparenting quality of this at-risk population.
KeywordsCoparenting Social support Adolescent parents Grandparents Ethnic minority families
This study was funded by NIMH grant 5K01MH72504.
A.P.: Wrote the manuscript, conducted data analyses; C.G.: Principal investigator of the study, provided material support for all aspects of this study, collaborated on study design and on writing and editing of the manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional review board of George Washington University and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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