Interpersonal relationships and adjustment of children in homeless and economically distressed families


Assessing the protective elements of social relationships for sixty 7- to 12-year-old children and their mothers residing in homeless shelters and 61 children and their mothers in low-income housing allowed us to test an ecological model of the impact of social relationships, income, stress, and maternal mental health on child adjustment for children in these two types of distressed families. Social relationships included the quality of the child's relationships with parents, teachers, other relatives, andfriends. The model showed that for the homeless group, a lack of social support and maternal depression were significantly associated with adjustment dificulties in the child, whereas for the housed low-income group, environmental stress was associated with behavioral adjustment problems in the child. Perceptions of self-worth were associated with the presense of supportive relationships for children in both groups.

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Journal of Clinical Child Psychology


Taylor & Francis

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