Profiles of Parental Mental Health and Children’S Academic Coping

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Profiles of Parental Mental Health and Children’S Academic Coping

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Academic coping moderates the relationship between academic stress and children’s social, emotional, and behavioral functioning (Grant et al., 2003). Parent psychopathology affects children’s coping, but minimal research has explored the relationship between other facets of parent mental health and children’s academic coping. Moreover, most research studying the interplay between parent mental health and children’s coping has taken a variable-centered approach. This study conducted person-centered analyses to derive latent classes of parents based on how they respond and adapt to stressful life events, then examined how the classes differentially relate to children’s academic coping. Participants were 115 adults with children between the ages of 5 and 15 in the mid-western United States. Data were collected using the parent report form of the Response to Academic Stress Questionnaire (RSQ-AS; Connor-Smith et al., 2000), the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS; Cohen, Kamarck, & Mermelstein, 1994), the Life Challenges Scale (LCS; Sullivan et al., 2019), and a single-item life satisfaction scale (MIDUS, 1995). Results of Latent Profile Analysis— using indicators of life satisfaction, stressful life events, perceived helplessness, and perceived self-efficacy—indicated that a 3-class solution provides the best fit empirically and conceptually. The automatic 3-step approach (Asparouhov & Muthén, 2013) was performed to examine socioeconomic factors related to class membership, as well as to examine the association between parent group membership and children’s responses to academic stress. Results indicate that income and education were weakly associated with parent membership in two of the groups. Further, parent group membership was significantly associated with children’s primary control coping, disengagement coping, and involuntary disengagement. This study adds to the literature on children’s coping in response to academic stress, suggesting that there are certain profiles of parents based on indicators of subjective wellbeing and perceived stress that relate to children’s functioning in school, above and beyond stressful life events. The implications of the findings, limitations, and future directions are discussed.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2020. Major: Educational Psychology. Advisor: Clayton Cook. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 152 pages.

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Fiat, Aria. (2020). Profiles of Parental Mental Health and Children’S Academic Coping. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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