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The Effects of Parents’ Working Conditions and Family Economic Hardship on Parenting Behaviors and Children’s Self-Efficacy


Whitbeck, Les B.; Simons, Ronald L.; Conger, Rand D.; Wickrama, Kandauda A. S.; Ackley, Kevin A.; & Elder, Glen H., Jr. (1997). The Effects of Parents' Working Conditions and Family Economic Hardship on Parenting Behaviors and Children's Self-Efficacy. Social Psychology Quarterly, 60(4), 291-303.


In this study we investigated the effects of parents' working conditions and family economic hardship on parenting behaviors, and their subsequent effects on the self-efficacy of adolescent children. We ran separate structural equation models for employed fathers (n 316) and mothers (n 316) in intact, dual-earner families. The models employed panel data at four points in time, and used multiple reporters to reduce measurement error. Both the father's working conditions and the family's economic stress affected the father's parenting behaviors. For employed mothers, in rural dual-earner families, only family economic strain affected parenting behaviors; this finding was attributed to employment characteristics of the women in our sample. Parents' use of inductive parenting techniques and avoidance of harsh parenting behaviours, in turn, contributed to adolescents' self-efficacy. The effects of fathers' working conditions on parenting practices and children's outcomes remained robust even when family economic strain was included in the model.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Social Psychology Quarterly


Whitbeck, Les B.
Simons, Ronald L.
Conger, Rand D.
Wickrama, Kandauda A. S.
Ackley, Kevin A.
Elder, Glen H., Jr.