The Effects of Core Parenting Skills and Treatment Exposure on Behavioral Outcomes at the End of Childhood Open Access

This study employs structural equation modelling to analyze core parenting behaviors developed from Baumrind’s paradigm through a social learning lens. It applies then to a non-clinical, ethnically diverse, urban population in the United States. It analyzes relationships of behavioral management, parent-child relationship, problem solving and communication, and parenting stress to child behavioral outcomes at the ninth year including mediation and moderation effects at years 1, 3, and 5. Treatment exposure was explored as a major moderator of pathways. Behavioral management, problem solving and communication, and parenting stress at year 5 predict child behavioral outcomes. Parent-child relationship at years 1 and 3 predict improvements in child behavioral outcomes. Contrary to expectation, prediction of outcomes from both parenting stress and behavioral management at year 3 is negative: increases in the use of spanking and in stress increased positive behaviors. The effects from these at year five, however, are consistent with previous literature. Key mediations are behavioral management and problem solving and communication of parent-child relationship year 3 effects. The moderation by treatment exposure is significant in increasing the effect of parenting stress and problem solving and communication. The application of core parenting skills provides useful pathways for increasing positive behavioral outcomes and for prevention of behavioral problems in early adolescence. Such prevention should focus on resiliency and early parent-child relationship. Future research should focus on additional moderating and moderated mediational pathways and analysis of the elements of treatment exposure.Keywords: parenting behaviors, child behavioral outcome, treatment exposure

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