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Parent Sci Pract. 2013 Jul;13(3):169-177.

Maternal Warmth Moderates the Link between Harsh Discipline and Later Externalizing Behaviors for Mexican American Adolescents.

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1
Montefiore Medical Center, 3444 Kossuth Avenue, Bronx, NY 10467.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study examined maternal warmth as a moderator of the relation between harsh discipline practices and adolescent externalizing problems 1year later in low-income, Mexican American families.

DESIGN:

Participants were 189 adolescents and their mothers who comprised the control group of a longitudinal intervention program.

RESULTS:

Maternal warmth protected adolescents from the negative effects of harsh discipline such that, at higher levels of maternal warmth, there was no relation between harsh discipline and externalizing problems after controlling for baseline levels of externalizing problems and other covariates. At lower levels of maternal warmth, there was a positive relation between harsh discipline practices and later externalizing problems.

CONCLUSIONS:

To understand the role of harsh discipline in the development of Mexican American youth outcomes, researchers must consider contextual variables that may affect youths' perceptions of their parents' behavior such as maternal warmth.

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