Associations Between Perceived Material Deprivation, Parents’ Discipline Practices, and Children's Behavior Problems: An International Perspective

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This study investigated the association between perceived material deprivation, children's behavior problems, and parents’ disciplinary practices. The sample included 1,418 8‐ to 12‐year‐old children and their parents in China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States. Multilevel mixed‐ and fixed‐effects regression models found that, even when income remained stable, perceived material deprivation was associated with children's externalizing behavior problems and parents’ psychological aggression. Parents’ disciplinary practices mediated a small share of the association between perceived material deprivation and children's behavior problems. There were no differences in these associations between mothers and fathers or between high‐ and low‐ and middle‐income countries. These results suggest that material deprivation likely influences children's outcomes at any income level.