Risk for Maternal Harsh Parenting in High-Risk Families From Birth to Age Three: Does Ethnicity Matter?

Christina Gamache Martin, Philip A. Fisher, Hyoun K. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Child maltreatment prevention programs typically identify at-risk families by screening for risk with limited consideration of how risk might vary by ethnicity. In this study, longitudinal data from mothers who participated in a randomized clinical trial of a home-visitation, child maltreatment prevention program (N = 262) were examined to determine whether risk for harsh parenting differed among mothers who identified themselves as Spanish-speaking Latinas (n = 64), English-speaking Latinas (n = 102), or non-Latina Caucasians (n = 96). The majority of the participants were first-time mothers (58. 4%), and the average age of all participants was 23. 55 years (SD = 6. 04). At the time of their infants' births, the Spanish-speaking Latina mothers demonstrated higher SES risk, whereas the English-speaking Latina and non-Latina Caucasian mothers demonstrated higher psychosocial risk. Three years later, the English-speaking Latina and non-Latina Caucasian mothers reported harsher parenting behaviors than the Spanish-speaking Latina mothers. The need for prevention programs to consider how risk and protective factors differ by ethnic group membership when identifying at-risk mothers is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-74
Number of pages11
JournalPrevention Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Feb 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this