Learning Objective 1: Identify the direct effects of adolescent daily hassles and quality of the mother-child relationship on child behavior problems in adolescents in Arab Muslim immigrant families
Learning Objective 2: Identify the interactive effects of adolescent daily hassles and quality of the mother-child relationship on child behavior problems in adolescents in Arab Muslim immigrant families
Our previous research findings about Arab Muslim youth documented that adolescent daily hassles and poor quality of mother-child relationships had strong direct effects on adolescent behavior problems at two different time points. The present study examines the separate and interactive effects of mother-child relationship and adolescent daily hassles on adolescent behavior problems over time.
Data were collected from 454 dyads of Arab Muslim immigrant mothers and their adolescents three times at approximately 18-month intervals. Both mothers and youth completed a measure of the quality of the mother-child relationship and a measure of child behavior problems. Youth completed a measure of adolescent daily hassles. A conditional latent growth curve model was used to estimate the Child Behavior Problem score trajectory and individual predictors of Child Behavior Problem slope and end status approximately three years later.
The model fit was excellent (CFI = .998 ; RMSEA = .027). The overall slope was negative (-1.41, SE = .295), indicating a significant decline in child behavior problems over time. The slope and intercept variance were significant, indicating individual differences in child behavior problem trajectories. Mother-child relationship and adolescent daily hassles each accounted for significant variance in child behavior problems. Adolescent daily hassles were positively related to child behavior problem end status, indicating more behavior problems with more hassles. However, there was a significant interaction between adolescent daily hassles and quality of the mother-child relationship. A plot of the trajectories showed strong differences in the effects of the mother-child relationship and adolescent daily hassles; a better mother-child relationship was associated with decreasing trajectories in child behavior problems while a poor mother-child relationship was associated with little change behavior problem trajectories regardless of daily hassles.
A good mother-child relationship is protective and reduces the impact of adolescent stressors on child behavior problems.