202439 Case for residential context in the study of parental warmth

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shalini Tendulkar, ScD , Institute for Community Health, Cambridge, MA
S.V. Subramanian, PhD , Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Karestan Koenen, PhD , Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Stephen L. Buka, ScD , Department of Community Health, Brown University, Providence, RI
Researchers have linked parenting behaviors, attitudes and beliefs to infant, child and adolescent outcomes in a vast literature on childhood socialization. They have also considered the influence of numerous parent and child characteristics on parenting. However, the relationship between characteristics of the residential environment and parenting is less well understood. In an effort to address this gap in the literature, we used multilevel modeling to understand the association between compositional (adolescent and caregiver) and contextual (structural, social and safety) characteristics of neighborhoods and parental warmth. The data for this study came from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN) Study and the 1990 Census. Multilevel linear regression models were used to examine the relationships between compositional and contextual factors and parental warmth. Most of the unexplained variation in parental warmth resulted from compositional differences between caregivers within neighborhoods. However, this study also found significant unexplained contextual variation in parental warmth in models adjusting for compositional variables. This contextual variation was not explained by the specific contextual variables examined in this study. The findings suggest that although variation in parental warmth is largely a function of differences between caregivers, the residential environment may represent an important influence on parental warmth. We were not able to identify specific neighborhood attributes that explain this variation. However findings highlight the importance of considering properties of the neighborhood environment in studies of parenting.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the existing knowledge and gaps in the literature on the relationship between neighborhood context and parenting. 2. Describe ways in which child, parent and characteristics of the neighborhood environment are associated with parental warmth.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I recently received my doctorate in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). This work represents the first paper, in a series of three papers for my dissertation work. While at HSPH I had the opportunity to take classes on multilevel modelling, the method I used in this study. I also benefited from the mentorship and input of faculty members with expertise in the content area of this paper, as well as the methods. Finally, I successfully completed several classes in content areas relevant to this work.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.