Parental Depression and Sociodemographic Factors: Examining Predictors of Parenting Behaviors
Vreeland, Allison JoAn
Children and adolescents of depressed parents are at increased risk for psychopathology compared to children of parents without a history of depression. Two powerful source of risk for internalizing and externalizing problems in these children are impaired and disrupted parenting and sociodemographic disadvantage. The focus of the current study is to examine the unique and combined associations of parental depression and sociodemographic disadvantage with parenting behaviors in parents with a history of MDD and to compare two approaches to quantifying sociodemographic disadvantage. Participants included 159 parents with a current or past history of MDD during the lifetime of their children. Bivariate correlations and linear regression analyses examined the relations among parent’s depressive symptoms, sociodemographic disadvantage, and parenting behaviors. Current parental depressive symptoms and sociodemographic risk variables were all significantly associated with both withdrawn and intrusive parenting. When examined simultaneously in regression analyses, parental education, family income, and minority status remained significant predictors of parents’ withdrawn parenting. Parental minority status was the only predictor significantly associated with intrusive parenting. Findings provide evidence that both depressive symptoms and factors representing sociodemographic disadvantage are independently and collectively associated with withdrawn and intrusive parenting behaviors in this population.