Latino Toddlers' Cognitive and Social Behaviors: The Contributions of Fathering, Mothering and Cultural Factors

Natasha Cabrera, University of Maryland
Vanessa Wight, National Center for Children in Poverty
Jay Fagan, Temple University

Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort and structural equation models, we examine the association between parents' depressive symptoms, contextual sources of stress (e.g., couple conflict, acculturation, SES), and ethnicity when children are 9 months and parenting and children's cognitive and social development at 24 months. We also examine the mediated effects of parenting and stress on children's outcomes. The results reveal that more depressive symptoms among fathers were associated with more conflict and less engagement with children. Early father engagement at 9 months was linked to children’s cognitive scores at 24 months through father engagement at 24 months. Parents' education was linked to children's social behaviors at 24 months through mother's supportiveness. Levels of family acculturation and ethnicity were not related to parenting or children's outcomes. However, boys obtained lower cognitive scores and showed fewer social skills at 24 months than girls.

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Presented in Poster Session 3