Pathways to Pain: Racial Discrimination and Relations Between Parental Functioning and Child Psychosocial Well-Being

Riana E. Anderson, Saida B. Hussain, Melvin N. Wilson, Daniel S. Shaw, Thomas J. Dishion, Joanna Lee Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


The relationship between racial discrimination, parental functioning, and child adjustment is not well understood. The goal of the present study was to assess parental reports of discrimination in relation to depression and parenting practices, as well as on subsequent child internalizing and externalizing problems in low-income Black families. Data include a subsample of the Early Steps project, a multisite longitudinal study of financial and behaviorally at-risk families. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze our hypothesized model. Excellent model fit was established after removing externalizing problems from the model. As predicted, indirect associations were found from discrimination to parental depression, parenting, and child internalizing problems; and direct associations were found from discrimination to child internalizing problems. The results are consistent with findings suggesting that discrimination is negatively associated with adult well-being; moreover, contribute to the sparse literature on the effects of discrimination beyond the direct recipient. Finally, that parent discrimination was directly associated with child emotional problems suggests the continued need to address and treat discriminatory practices more generally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-512
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Black Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Black families
  • Discrimination
  • Low-income
  • Parenting
  • Psychosocial outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Applied Psychology


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