Latchkey children: Potential sources of support

Shmuel Shulman, Peri Kedem, Kalman J. Kaplan, Ilana Sever, Miriam Braja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Two studies examined factors facilitating the ability of latchkey children to care for themselves, and to function at a similar level to children who are under adult care. In the first study, 70 latchkey and 69 non-latchkey children were compared on measures of functioning, and on level of maternal perception of their children as independent. Children's level of functioning was not different across the latchkey condition. However, contrary to expectations, maternal perception of the child as independent was related to a lower level of fear only among the non-latchkey children. Among latchkey children, in contrast, maternal perception of the child as independent was related, to a higher level of anxiety and fears on the part of the child. In the second study, the association between maternal and extra family support and child functioning was evaluated in two cohorts: 62 latchkey and 46 non-latchkey children. Results showed that maternal support was associated with functioning level of the non-latchkey children; functioning level of latchkey children, in contrast, was related to extra family supports. The role of parental and extra family support in the functioning of latchkey children is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-197
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1998


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