Why do ethnic minority (Indian) children living in Britain display more internalizing problems than their English peers? The role of social support and parental style as mediators

Naama Atzaba-Poria, Alison Pike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this paper was to examine explanatory mechanisms of differences in children's internalizing problems between ethnic minority (i.e., Indian) and ethnic majority (i.e., English) children living in Britain. Fifty-nine English children (31 girls) and 66 Indian children (30 girls), and their parents constituted the sample of this study. Both mothers and fathers reported on the children's internalizing problems, and provided reports of their own parenting style and social support. Analysis showed that maternal positivity, paternal negativity, and both parents' reports of social support mediated the link between ethnicity and internalizing problems. Furthermore, according to the best-fitting structural equation model, ethnicity did not have a direct influence on children's internalizing problems, nor on parental style. Ethnicity instead predicted parental reports of social support. Social support, in turn, contributed to children's internalizing problems directly as well as indirectly through parenting style. Finally, although parenting style significantly influenced children's internalizing problems, social support was a much stronger contributor. The role of the distal as well as the proximal environments on children's adjustment is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-540
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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