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Parenting deficits of mothers living with HIV/AIDS who have young children


The purpose of this study was to examine a model of the relationships between parenting deficits and skills, along with child outcomes, in a sample of mothers living with HIV (MLH) and their 6 to 14 year old children. Sixty-two MLH (61% Latina, 26% black, 3% white, & 10% multiracial) and their well children (age 6 - 14) were recruited from the greater Los Angeles, California, region to participate in an intervention (IMAGE: Improving Mothers' parenting Abilities, Growth, and Effectiveness) designed to assist MLH with parenting and self-care skills. Constructs examined included parenting deficits, parenting skills, and child outcomes. Covariance structural modeling was used for the analyses. Covariance structural modeling confirmed the hypothesized set of construct associations. As predicted, fewer parenting deficits were associated with better parenting skills, which, in turn, were associated with better child outcomes. This study delineated further the parenting issues with which MLH struggle, providing information on the interventions needed for this population. MLH who have little confidence they can enact parenting skills and limited knowledge of basic parenting practices appear to be less likely to provide family routines consistently, monitor their children, or to engender family cohesion or a close parent-child relationship. Such parenting skills were found to be associated with child functioning.

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