Children and Youth Services Review
Grandparents or other relatives are raising over 2.7 million children in the United States; and research suggests that the birth parents of these children maintain varying levels of involvement with them and their relative caregivers. However, the impact of parental involvement on children's developmental outcomes remains largely unexplored. This study sought to understand the role of maternal and paternal involvement (each parent's contact with the caregiver, contact with the child, friendliness to the caregiver, and quality of relationship with the child) on competence levels of African American children in informal kinship care. Exploring these relationships are pivotal, especially given the various psychosocial benefits associated with social and academic competence. Findings from the SEM analysis suggest that paternal involvement in informal kinship care is a significant predictor of competence among this sample of African American children. Maternal involvement only revealed a positive trend with competence; however the quality of the mothers' relationship with children was associated with children's competence levels. Implications for future research and social work practice are discussed. (Author abstract)
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