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Multigenerational Homes Buffered Behavioral Problems among Children of Latinx but not White non-Latinx Mothers

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Guided by a culture-sensitive attachment framework (Keller, 2016), the purpose of the current study was to examine multigenerational homes as moderators on the associations among maternal depressive symptoms, maternal-child attachment, and child behavioral problems, between White and Latinx women. A subsample (n = 2,366) of The Future of Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS) – previously known as the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study – was used with three time points (at child ages 1-, 3-, and 5-years). Mothers reported their depressive symptoms at child age 1, mother-child attachment at child age 3, and child behavioral problems at child age 5. Home structure was assessed through the mothers’ responses at child ages 1 and 3. A path model was used to examine the associations among maternal depressive symptoms, mother-child attachment insecurity, and child behavioral problems, with comparisons among four groups: White non-multigenerational homes, White multigenerational homes, Latinx non-multigenerational homes, and Latinx multigenerational homes. Findings revealed that higher mother-child attachment insecurity at age 3 predicted higher internalizing behaviors at age 5, only among children in Latinx, non-multigenerational homes, but not among those in Latinx, multigenerational homes or White homes. This study revealed significant cultural and ethnical differences in household living arrangements and child wellbeing, with significant theoretical contributions to the understanding of cultural phenomena in attachment research and implications towards designing culturally sensitive intervention programs.

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Data Availability

Publicly available datasets were analyzed in this study. This data can be found at: Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study,


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The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. This research appreciates the data provided by the Fragile Families Study, supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers R01HD036916, R01HD039135, and R01HD040421, as well as a consortium of private foundations. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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Correspondence to Karina Jalapa.

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The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Written informed consent to participate in this study was obtained by the FFCWS research team.

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Jalapa, K., Wu, Q., Tawfiq, D. et al. Multigenerational Homes Buffered Behavioral Problems among Children of Latinx but not White non-Latinx Mothers. Res Child Adolesc Psychopathol 51, 1391–1405 (2023).

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