A family-centered prevention ameliorates the associations of low self-control during childhood with employment income and poverty status in young African American adults

Gene H. Brody*, Tianyi Yu, Gregory E. Miller, Edith Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Children with low self-control who grow up in poverty are at elevated risk for living in poverty when they are adults. The purpose of this study was to further understanding of the intergenerational continuity of poverty by (a) examining the likelihood that children with low levels of self-control at age 11 earn less employment income and are more likely to live in poverty 14 years later, at age 25; and (b) determining, via a preventive intervention, whether enhancing supportive parenting during childhood will ameliorate these associations. Methods: Parents and their 11-year-old children from 381 families participated in the Strong African American Families (SAAF) program or a control condition. Teachers assessed children’s self-control at 11 years; parents reported their use of supportive parenting when children were 11 and 13 years; emerging adults provided data on cognitive and emotional self-control at 19, 20, and 21 years; and young adults indicated their employment income at 25 years. Results: Significant two-way interactions were detected between children’s self-control and prevention condition for employment income (b = −183.18, 95% CI [−363.82, −2.53], p <.05) and poverty status (b = 0.257, 95% CI [0.018, 0.497], p <.05). Low self-control at age 11 forecast less employment income and a greater likelihood of living in poverty among children in the control condition, but not among low self-control SAAF participants. Mediated moderation analyses confirmed that enhanced supportive parenting accounted for SAAF’s effects on employment income (indirect effect = 63.057, 95% BCA [19.385, 124.748]) and poverty status (indirect effect = −0.071, 95% BCA [−0.165, −0.016]). Conclusions: This study is unique in using a randomized controlled trial to show that preventive interventions designed to enhance parenting and strengthen families can buffer the long-term economic consequences of low self-control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-435
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Volume61
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Keywords

  • African American
  • Parent–child relations
  • preventive intervention
  • self-control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A family-centered prevention ameliorates the associations of low self-control during childhood with employment income and poverty status in young African American adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this