Date of Conferral







Robin Oatis-Ballew


Assistance to young, single, African American mothers requires adaptation to their environmental stressors along with reliance on social support. Further information is necessary for developing and supporting an appropriate model for delivery of that assistance. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine potential correlations between general social support and parenting skills and disciplinary practices amongst low-income, African American single mothers. Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory model supported this study to further develop an accurate perspective of African American families to inform more effective approaches to parenting. The participants for this correlational research design study were 78 mothers who had preschool age children, between the ages of 2 and 5. The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, the Parents' Child-Rearing Behavior Interview Questionnaire, and the Attitudes Toward Spanking Children Questionnaire were used to measure the variables under study. Ordinal regression was used to examine the correlations between social support, parenting skills, and disciplinary practices. A significant interaction between social support, parenting skills, and disciplinary practices was not found with the tools used in this study; however, there was only a relationship determined between general social support and disciplinary practices. The knowledge gained from this study can be useful to researchers and practitioners in developing culturally appropriate parenting support and education, positively impacting the delivery of parenting by single, urban, African American mothers.