Parenting stress and associated pathways to health outcomes in Latino parents: An investigation of longitudinal latent change
Epstein, Norman B
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Prior parenting stress studies have been limited due to a primary focus on how parenting stress is associated with the well-being of children, use of samples consisting of predominately White parents, and reliance on cross-sectional data. Using longitudinal data collected from a randomized control trial of a parenting intervention for Latino parents with early adolescents, the present study investigated how changes in relational variables (parent-child conflict and parenting stress) were associated with changes in the parents’ psychological well-being across four months and ten months. Confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses were conducted on the study measures, and measurement invariance was subsequently tested for all of the study variables across the two time periods. Latent change models were imposed for the time periods of four months and ten months while controlling for treatment group membership (intervention vs. control), income, parent’s enculturation, and number of children in the family. The results from latent change analysis showed that across a period of four months, change in parent-child conflict was positively associated with changes in parenting stress and parent’s psychological distress, whereas across ten months, change in parent-child conflict was only associated with change in psychological distress. Examination of the control variable regarding group membership (intervention vs. control) showed that being assigned to the parenting intervention had protective indirect effects on change in parenting stress through its association with change in parent-child conflict across four months, and on change in psychological distress through change in parent-child conflict across ten months. The present findings showed that changes in parent-child relationships are related to changes in parenting stress and psychological distress of Latino parents with early adolescents. It seems that change in parent-child conflict may affect change in parenting stress in the shorter term but affect the parent’s individual psychological well-being in the longer term, and that community-based parenting interventions have the potential to protect and increase the well-being of Latino parents of early adolescents.