Correlates of parenting styles in predominantly working-and middle-class African American mothers

Cheryl Bluestone, Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We examined reported parenting and disciplinary practices in 114 working and middle class African American mothers of children aged 5-12 using the Parenting Dimensions Inventory (PDI; Power, 1991). Results indicated substantive variation among parents in their disciplinary strategies. Reasoning, which is characteristic of authoritative parenting, was the most frequently reported strategy. Factor analyses were conducted on mother's responses to PDI items, and sociodemographic and psychological variables were related to the identified factors. Maternal education, socioeconomic status, childrearing history, and maternal depression differentially predicted child-centered parenting, reasoning, and mothers' tendencies to let a situation go. The importance of extending theoretical and empirical models of parenting determinants to underrepresented segments of African American families is emphasized in order to gain a fuller understanding of the factors that contribute to diverse styles of parenting in such groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)881-893
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1999


  • African American parenting
  • Childrearing history
  • Discipline
  • Maternal depression
  • Parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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