Perceived family stress, parenting efficacy, and child externalizing behaviors in second-generation immigrant mothers

Ayşe Yaman, Judi Mesman*, Marinus H. Van Ijzendoorn, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: Examining family stress and parenting efficacy in relation to child externalizing problems in immigrant families. Method: In this study, we compared the levels of family stress, parenting efficacy, and toddler externalizing behaviors in Dutch (n = 175) and second-generation Turkish immigrant families (n = 175) living in the Netherlands. In addition, the influence of Turkish mothers' acculturation on toddler externalizing behaviors and its association with perceived stress and efficacy were examined. Results: Turkish mothers reported higher levels of daily stress and marital discord than Dutch mothers, but did not differ in perceptions of parenting efficacy and children's externalizing behaviors. The associations between child and family variables were similar in the Dutch and the Turkish groups, as more family stress was related to more externalizing behaviors in toddlers. Low parenting efficacy was the most important predictor of child externalizing behaviors in both groups. Acculturation of Turkish mothers was not associated with family and child variables, and did not moderate the association between family variables and child externalizing behaviors. However, emotional connectedness to the Turkish culture was related to less daily stress and fewer marital problems. Conclusions: The results support the no-group differences hypothesis and also imply that cultural maintenance may be adaptive for parental well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-512
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Externalizing behaviors
  • Family stress
  • Immigrant families
  • Parenting efficacy
  • Toddlers


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