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Examining the Link Between Parenting and Child Problem Behaviors in American Indian Families

Seabridge, Sean Douglas
Parenting discipline strategies, child externalizing behavior, and acculturation of American Indian families residing in Oklahoma were examined using standardized and well-accepted measures. Sixty-four parents with children between the ages of 6 and 11 participated. Results were mixed on the use of the Parenting Scale (PS) and Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) with the current American Indian sample, as a number of the scales were significantly different than the normative samples; however, internal consistencies of the PS and APQ were good and tentatively lend support for their use with Native families in Oklahoma. Findings support that parents who use more reactive discipline are more likely to have children with disruptive behavior problems and parents who monitor/supervise their children less are more likely to have children with disruptive behavior problems. Exploratory analyses revealed conditional effects of parental involvement and acculturation on the association between overreactive parenting and child disruptive behavior. Specifically, when parental involvement is higher, the association between overreactivity and child disruptive behavior is strengthened, and when acculturation is lower, overreactive parenting has less of an effect on child disruptive behavior.