Parenting behaviors and child social competence: risk factors for adjustment of adolescent offspring of mothers with and without a history of depression
Reeslund, Kristen Lynne
In a sample of mothers with and without a history of depression and their adolescent children, the role of negative parenting behaviors and actual and perceived child competence, as observed in parent-child interactions and obtained through mother- and adolescent-report, were investigated in the transmission of psychopathology from depressed mothers to their offspring. Mothers’ current depressive symptoms were related to higher levels of intrusive and withdrawn parenting behaviors. Findings also indicate that mothers’ current depressive symptoms and negative parenting behaviors are sources of risk for depressive symptoms and externalizing problems in children, and that some of these effects may be mediated by levels of actual adolescent social competence. Results have implications for interventions with mothers with a history of depression to prevent psychopathology in their adolescent offspring.