The Influence of Race and Income on Community Mothers' Acceptance of Child Management Methods

Kasia S. Plessy, Louisiana State University.
Anna C. Long, Louisiana State University. Electronic address:
Mary Lou Kelley, Louisiana State University.


The consideration of diverse family factors on parents' acceptance of behavioral parent training (BPT) components aids in the development and delivery of culturally sensitive parenting programs. Perceptions of acceptability are particularly important to investigate among low-income and racial-minority families, as they are less likely to engage in nonadapted BPT programs. Therefore, the current study examines the synergistic effects of race and income on mothers' acceptance of five common child management methods relevant to BPT. The relationship between mothers' acceptability ratings and self-reported parenting practices was also explored. Participants were 106 White and Black mothers from different income levels who completed measures related to the acceptability of response cost, positive reinforcement, time-out, spanking, and medication. The results indicated that mothers from varying backgrounds differed in their acceptance of child management methods, particularly with regard to corporal punishment. Additionally, a relationship was found between parents' acceptability ratings and their self-reported parenting behavior. The findings support the consideration of parents' perceptions of child discipline methods when recommending and delivering BPT programs to diverse parents.