Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 49, Issue 5, pp 833–841 | Cite as

Parental Wellbeing, Parenting and Child Development in Ghanaian Families with Young Children

  • Keng-Yen Huang
  • Lindsay A. Bornheimer
  • Ernestina Dankyi
  • Ama de-Graft Aikins
Original Article


Approximately one-third of early childhood pupils in Ghana are struggling with meeting basic behavioral and developmental milestones, but little is known about mechanisms or factors that contribute to poor early childhood development. With a lack of developmental research to guide intervention or education program and policy planning, this study aimed to address these research gaps by examining a developmental mechanism for early childhood development. We tested a mediational mechanism model that examined the influence of parental wellbeing on parenting and children’s development. Two hundred and sixty-two Ghanaian parents whose children attended early childhood classes (nursery to 3rd grade) were recruited. Data were gathered through parent interviews and Structural Equation Modeling was utilized to examine pathways of the model. Results support the mediational model that Ghanaian parents’ depression was associated with less optimal parenting, and in turn greater child externalizing behavioral problems. This study adds new evidence of cross cultural consistency in early childhood development.


Wellbeing Parental depression Social support Parenting Early childhood Child development Social emotion development Ghana 



The study was supported by NYU CGPH Research Affinity Group Challenge Grant/NYU Provost Office and National Institutes of Mental Health (U19 MH110001-01). We wish to acknowledge the generous participation of the schools, community leaders and parents.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Population HealthNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WorkUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Centre for Social Policy StudiesUniversity of GhanaAccraGhana
  4. 4.Regional Institute for Population StudiesUniversity of GhanaAccraGhana

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