Introduction: Parenting styles are considered as one of the main determinants of individual and social behaviors and the use of dysfunctional styles can create child behavioral problems. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between mother-child relationship patterns in mother-headed households and children's behavioral problems.
Methods: This is a descriptive-analytical cross-sectional study that was performed on 345 mother-headed households under the coverage of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee in Shiraz, Iran. Mothers were selected by convenience sampling method and data were collected using several questionnaires including the mother-child relationship evaluation, the child behavior checklist, and social support appraisals scale. Data were analyzed using SPSS software version 21.
Results: The overprotective parenting style, as one of the inefficient models has been used more than others by mother-headed households as well as the mothers with higher education levels used less from the child-rearing style " excessive ease ", and benefited more from the support of friends and others. In addition, children of divorced and low-income mothers are more prone to externalizing behavioral problems. The final result was also determined two parenting styles “excessive ease and overprotection” are effective on children's total behavioral problems.
Conclusion: The findings highlight the need to plan and expand socio-economic and educational support services to improve living conditions and parenting skills in mother-headed households. Further research is also suggested to identify the determinants and types of interventions affecting mother-child relationships, children's behavioral problems, and finally quality of life among this low-income and vulnerable group.
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