Associations between Profiles of Maternal Strengths and Positive Parenting Practices among Mothers Experiencing Adversity


SYNOPSIS: Objective. Few studies have explored associations between strength-based factors and positive parenting among mothers experiencing adversity. Adopting a person-centered statistical approach, we examined how patterns of maternal strengths relate to positive parenting practices. Design. Participants were 188 female primary caregivers (71% African American) who experienced intimate partner violence and/or were living with HIV. Women were recruited from community organizations in the Mid-Southern United States and completed measures of adaptability, spirituality, ethnic identity, social support, parent-child communication, community cohesion, and parenting practices. Latent profile analysis was used to generate classes of individual (adaptability, spirituality, education), relational (family support, friend support, parent-child communication about Substance Abuse, Violence, and AIDS/HIV), and contextual (ethnic identity, community cohesion) factors, in line with the social-ecological model of resilience. Associations between the classes and positive parenting practices were examined. Results. Three classes emerged: (1) Low Individual, Relational, & Contextual (LIRC; n = 18); (2) Low SAVA Communication (LSC; n = 30); and (3) High Individual, Relational, & Contextual (HIRC; n = 140). Mothers in the LIRC class reported lower parental involvement and less positive parenting practices than those in the HIRC class. Conclusions. Mothers who endorse increased individual, relational, and contextual factors utilize more positive parenting practices. Optimal clinical approaches to enhance parenting should target supports at multiple levels.

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