Single mothers in low-wage jobs: Financial strain, parenting, and preschoolers' outcomes

Aurora P. Jackson, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Chien Chung Huang, Marc Glassman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

286 Scopus citations


Using data from an ongoing study of 93 single Black mothers of preschoolers who had been welfare recipients, but were employed in low-wage jobs at baseline, this study tests a model of how maternal education, economic conditions (earnings and financial strain), and the availability of instrumental support influence maternal psychological functioning, parenting, and child development. Results indicate that maternal educational attainment was positively associated with earnings, which, together with instrumental support, were negatively associated with financial strain. Financial strain, in turn, was implicated in elevated levels of depressive symptoms, which were directly and negatively implicated in parenting quality. The quality of parenting was associated with children's behavior problems and preschool ability. Specifically, mothers with higher scores on the HOME scale, our measure of involved, supportive parenting, had children with fewer behavior problems and better preschool ability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1409-1423
Number of pages15
JournalChild development
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Single mothers in low-wage jobs: Financial strain, parenting, and preschoolers' outcomes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this