Parental monitoring and its role in alleviating child externalizing behaviors
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Family factors have been identified as contributing factors in relation to presence of child externalizing behaviors. The study objective was to examine the effects of parental discipline effectiveness, monitoring, and supervision on its ability to alleviate externalizing behaviors among African American children. Parental social support and parental life stressors were addressed since they have been shown to impact parenting and externalizing behaviors. Participants in the current study were part of the Chicago HIV Prevention and Adolescent Mental Health Project (CHAMP) a family based intervention program focused low income-inner-city children. Results indicated that parental ability to effectively discipline their children lessens the degree of child externalizing behaviors; the additional areas of parenting did not show significant influence in controlling problem behaviors. Parental social support and parental lifetime stressors did not impact child externalizing behaviors; however were shown to directly impact parenting. Parents who had a stronger social support system showed higher degrees of monitoring, parents who experienced less life time stressors showed stronger discipline effectiveness over their child's behavior, but these factors did not show influences to any other areas of parenting abilities. These findings suggest the importance of parental influence in alleviating child behavior problems; in addition they improve on the existing awareness of the specific needs of vulnerable populations.