Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 10, pp 3262–3276 | Cite as

Impact of Maternal Support and Involvement on Coping in Adolescent Males of Color

  • Noni K. Gaylord-HardenEmail author
  • Grace J. Bai
  • Suzanna So
  • Patrick H. Tolan
Original Paper


The current study examined maternal support and maternal involvement as moderators of the association between exposure to community violence (ECV) and both violence-related and non-violence related stressors in adolescent males of color. The current study included 250 African American (61%) and Latino (39%) male adolescents from the Chicago Youth Development Study to examine the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between community violence exposure, maternal support and involvement, and youth coping strategies. Neither maternal support nor maternal involvement were moderators of the association between ECV and coping, cross-sectionally or longitudinally. However, higher levels of both maternal support and involvement predicted lower levels of maladaptive coping with non-violence related stressors both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Maternal support and involvement were unrelated to coping with violence-related stressors. It was expected that these parenting variables would show a protective effect on the relationship with violence exposure and coping, but the results suggest that these parenting attributes have direct ameliorative effect on coping with non-violence-related stressors. However, this finding did not extend to coping with violence-related stressors, underscoring the traumatic nature of violence exposure and importance of specificity frameworks for conducting research on the impact of violence exposure.


Community violence exposure Coping strategies Maternal support Maternal involvement Male adolescents of color Specificity model 



This study was supported by a grant from the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (1R03HD072112-01A1).

Author Contributions

N.K.G.-H.: designed and executed the study, assisted with the data analyses, and wrote the manuscript. G.J.B.: analyzed the data and assisted with writing the manuscript. S.S.: collaborated with the design and writing of the manuscript and assisted with data analysis. P.H.T.: designed and executed data collection; collaborated in the editing of the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional review board at the University of Illinois at Chicago and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLoyola University ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.University of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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