Mother- and father-child mutuality in Anglo and Indian British families: A link with lower externalizing problems

Kirby Deater-Deckard, Naama Atzaba-Poria, Alison Pike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

We observed mother- and father-child dyadic mutuality (responsiveness, interaction reciprocity, and cooperation), and its association with child behavior problems, in a socioeconomically and ethnically diverse sample of 125 male (51%) and female 7-to-9-year-old children. Dyadic mutuality and positivity were coded from in-home videotaped structured tasks, and parents completed ratings of child externalizing problems. Mothers showed more mutuality than fathers. The same child showed moderately similar mutuality with both of her or his parents (r = .47). Mutuality was higher among Anglo parents compared to Indian parents, an effect that was due in part to acculturation (i.e., years since immigration, native language use, traditional native culture attitudes). Greater mutuality, when coupled with dyadic positive affect, was associated with fewer externalizing problems (R 2 = .24). This pattern held across gender, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-620
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume32
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2004

Keywords

  • behavior problems
  • culture
  • father-child relations
  • mother-child relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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