Maternal Influences on Preadolescent Adjustment: A Cross Cultural Exploration

Grant Winner

  • Madhavi Menon, Ph.D.

Dean

  • Don Rosenblum, Ph.D.

Abstract

Award Winners

A vast literature shows that the quality of personal relationships, especially personal relationships with parents for children and preadolescents, is a major predictor of psychosocial functioning and development. Recent research also suggests that the parents' psychological resources might affect their parenting, and this can have a significant influence on the child's adjustment. However, there is little to no research addressing the combined effects of maternal socioemotional status and parenting behaviors on preadolescent adjustment. Additionally, the available research is derived from a predominantly American population, while research suggests that there may be differing values that underline social relationships across cultures. This study therefore proposes to address these gaps in the literature by assessing the interactive effects of maternal socioemotional status and parenting behaviors on preadolescent adjustment by studying two individualistic (USA & UK) and one collectivistic culture (India). There are two main objectives of the study: 1) to understand the overall effects of maternal socioemotional status and parenting behaviors on preadolescent adjustment across three nations (USA, UK, India); and 2) to assess the cross-cultural variations in these linkages. To this end, 100 mother-child dyads (per country) will be administered self-report measures to assess maternal socioemotional status, parenting behaviors, and preadolescent adjustment. The data will be analyzed using hierarchical multiple regressions to assess the interactive influences of parenting behaviors and maternal socioemotional status on preadolescent adjustment, and to assess if these linkages are moderated by culture. The information gleaned in this study will help inform developmental researchers on the dynamic links between these variables to help them design intervention paradigms aimed at enhancing positive preadolescent adjustment by focusing on key maternal factors. Further, the cross-cultural information will aid in theory building to better understand cultural variations which is the order of the day in the increasingly globalized world of the 21st century.