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Linking Employment Status, Maternal Psychological Well-Being, Parenting, and Children's Attributions about Poverty in Families Receiving Government Assistance

Velma McBride Murry, Gene H. Brody, Anita Brown, Joseph Wisenbaker, Carolyn E. Cutrona and Ronald L. Simons
Family Relations
Vol. 51, No. 2 (Apr., 2002), pp. 112-120
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3700196
Page Count: 9
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Linking Employment Status, Maternal Psychological Well-Being, Parenting, and Children's Attributions about Poverty in Families Receiving Government Assistance
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Abstract

Functional changes in rural African American single-mother-headed families after the implementation of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families were explored from an ecological risk-protection perspective. The sample included 96 single mothers who received government assistance and their 10- or 11-year-old children. Links among maternal employment status, mothers' physical health and psychological functioning, parenting, and children's attributions about the causes of poverty were examined. Maternal psychological distress was linked with children's attributions about the causes of poverty, both directly and indirectly through its association with parenting. Children who did not attribute poverty to social causes had higher academic goals than did those who attributed poverty to social, economic, or political barriers. Further research is needed on barriers to employment and the influence of maternal psychological functioning on parenting.

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