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J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2008 Jul;37(3):530-41. doi: 10.1080/15374410802148202.

A test of the Family Stress Model on toddler-aged children's adjustment among Hurricane Katrina impacted and nonimpacted low-income families.

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University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148, USA.


Hurricane Katrina dramatically altered the level of social and environmental stressors for the residents of the New Orleans area. The Family Stress Model describes a process whereby felt financial strain undermines parents' mental health, the quality of family relationships, and child adjustment. Our study considered the extent to which the Family Stress Model explained toddler-aged adjustment among Hurricane Katrina affected and nonaffected families. Two groups of very low-income mothers and their 2-year-old children participated (pre-Katrina, n = 55; post-Katrina, n = 47). Consistent with the Family Stress Model, financial strain and neighborhood violence were associated with higher levels of mothers' depressed mood; depressed mood was linked to less parenting efficacy. Poor parenting efficacy was associated to more child internalizing and externalizing problems.

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