And Still WE Rise: Parent–Child Relationships, Resilience, and School Readiness in Low-Income Urban Black Families

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Abstract

The Family Stress Model acknowledges forms of resilience in the face of hardship; however, few studies have emerged on the potentially positive role of familial relationships in the academic, psychological, and prosocial success of impoverished Black children. The current study evaluates how parent–child relationship conflict and financial stress are associated with children’s school readiness (i.e., academic, psychosocial, and socioemotional indicators). Latent profile analyses, incorporating financial stress, general stress, and parent–child relationship variables were used to test whether varying family stress profiles differentially predicted children’s school readiness in Black families with children entering kindergarten (N = 292). Findings revealed 4 latent classifications with profiles of low, moderate, moderate/high, and high/moderate stress and conflict variables, respectively. Whereas the low-profile was associated with the most desirable school readiness indicators overall, children in the high/moderate-profile were rated as significantly more psychosocially and socioemotionally prepared for school than their moderate/high-profile counterparts. Families with less conflictual parent–child relationships had more optimal school readiness relative to families with higher conflict and less financial strain. The findings of the current study have the potential to contribute to theories of poverty and parent–child relationships, as well as guide therapeutic services focused on family relationships through school- and community-related programs for impoverished urban Black youth and their families.

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