Marital relationship quality and couples' cognitive stimulation practices toward their infants: Actor and partner effects of White and Hispanic parents

Marcela Sotomayor-Peterson, Mari S. Wilhelm, Noel A. Card

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study explores actor and partner effects on mothers' and fathers' cognitive stimulation within an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM). This model allows us to evaluate whether mothers' and fathers' practices are impacted not only by their own experiences but also by their partners' experiences. The APIM treats the couple as the level of analyses, thus explicitly modelling such interdependence. The model assessed associations among marital conflict and happiness, closeness with own parents and depressive symptoms of both fathers and mothers among White, high acculturated Hispanic, and low acculturated Hispanic couples. The data used comes from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort, a nationally representative dataset. Results show that marital conflict is associated with less cognitive stimulation for White mothers, White fathers and low acculturated Hispanic fathers. For high acculturated Hispanic couples, results show that fathers' perception of conflict is associated with more cognitive stimulation by the mother. Marital happiness is associated with increased cognitive stimulation by White and high acculturated Hispanic fathers. Closeness with their own parents is associated with higher levels of cognitive stimulation, especially for low acculturated Hispanic fathers as well as for White fathers and mothers. Depression was not found to have a direct impact on behaviours, but within low acculturated Hispanic couples, mother's depressive symptoms were associated with less cognitive stimulation by the father.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-122
Number of pages20
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Volume181
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

Keywords

  • Couples' cognitive stimulation
  • Dyadic analysis
  • Ethnicity
  • Hispanic
  • Marital quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics

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