where the biological mothers were not present, the study instead chose their step-mothers, adoptive mothers, or grandmothers as their primary maternal figures.
The research procedure involved collection of data on three dependent variables and two dependent variables. Measures of socioeconomic status, family functioning, maternal psychology (all independent variables), child self regulation and child verbal and learning skills (dependent variables) were given.
The socioeconomic measure was the number and quality of appliances and goods in the home of each participating family. Family functioning measure was the extent each family functioned as a cohesive unit or system. Maternal psychopathology measure was the extent of maternal psychipathology measured using Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) tool. Child self-regulation measure was the Conners Parent Rating Scale, rating children by their mothers on a number of children’s behaviour. Lastly, the verbal and learning skills measure was the Verbal Ability and Puzzle-Solving scales measuring the cognitive-related skills of the children.
Bivariate correlations among the variables were analyzing using path analysis model. The strength of the model was tested. The study obtained the maximum likelihood estimates of the model coefficients as well as the as well as the adequacy of fit for the path models through such indices as chi-square statistic, goodness-of-fit, comparative fit index, and root mean square error of approximation.
The study selected four path models. The first model examined the influence socioeconomic status, maternal dysthymia, and family cohesion on child outcomes. The second model examined the association among socioeconomic status, maternal dysthymia and child outcomes. The third model examined the influence of socioeconomic status, maternal depression, and family cohesion on child outcomes. The last model examined the association among socioeconomic status, depression and child outcomes. The