Emotional Support for Moms Leads to Better Youth Outcomes
|March 29, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Research, Youth Development|
A report from Child Trends examines the impact of emotional support for mothers on familial relationships and child outcomes among disadvantaged families. The researchers measured the effect of emotional support – often found in healthly, reassuring relationships – of mothers on the variables of school engagement, school competence and symptoms of depression in their children. Findings include,
- The children of mothers reporting emotional support were more engaged in school than those of mothers lacking emotional support. These findings held across three groups – among single mothers (74 percent versus 67 percent), mothers who did not finish high-school (75 percent versus 70 percent), and in low income families (76 percent versus 70 percent).
- The children of mothers reporting emotional support were more likely to have social competence than children with mothers lacking support across the same three groups – single mothers (56 percent to 43 percent), mothers who did not finish high school (49 percent versus 38 percent), and households below the poverty line (54 percent versus 41 percent).
Overall, data indicate that youth with mothers who have emotional support in their lives experience better behavioral outcomes than their peers from families lacking this specific protective factor. The implications of these findings should resonate with nonprofit and community organizations who work with low-income families or in disadvantaged neighborhoods and inform their programmatic offerings.
The report, Disadvantaged Families and Child Outcomes: The Importance of Emotional Support for Mothers by Tawana Bandy, B.S., Kristine M. Andrews, Ph.D., and Kristin Anderson Moore, Ph.D. is available at the Child Trends site.