Resilient parenting of children at developmental risk across middle childhood

Ruth Ellingsen, Bruce L. Baker, Jan Blacher, Keith Crnic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This paper focuses on factors that might influence positive parenting during middle childhood when a parent faces formidable challenges defined herein as "resilient parenting." Data were obtained from 162 families at child age 5 and 8 years. Using an adapted ABCX model, we examined three risk domains (child developmental delay, child ADHD/ODD diagnosis, and low family income) and three protective factors (mother's education, health, and optimism). The outcome of interest was positive parenting as coded from mother-child interactions. We hypothesized that each of the risk factors would predict poorer parenting and that higher levels of each protective factor would buffer the risk-parenting relationship. Positive parenting scores decreased across levels of increasing risk. Maternal optimism appeared to be a protective factor for resilient parenting concurrently at age 5 and predictively to age 8, as well as a predictor of positive change in parenting from age 5 to age 8, above and beyond level of risk. Maternal education and health were not significantly protective for positive parenting. Limitations, future directions, and implications for intervention are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1364-1374
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Developmental delay
  • Optimism
  • Parenting
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Resilient parenting of children at developmental risk across middle childhood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this