System Justification, Mental Health, and Behavior Among Disadvantaged Mothers and Their Children

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Integrating social psychological research with work in child development, this study explored relationships between system justification (Jost & Banaji, 1994), maternal mental health, and child externalizing behavior among low-income immigrants and racial/ethnic minorities. Dominican, Mexican, and African American families (N = 239) were assessed when children were 14, 24, and 36 months old. Structural equation modeling was used to explore longitudinal relationships between maternal system justification and mental health and associations with child behavior. Earlier mental health was negatively related to later system justification and system justification was negatively related to children's externalizing behavior. Implications for system justification theory, child development, and immigration are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-395
Number of pages14
JournalBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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