Relations Among Parental Depression, Parents' and Chrildrens' Reports about Parenting, and Observed Parenting Behavior
Parental depression is associated with a range of difficulties in parenting behaviors such as low levels of warmth and low positive involvement and high levels of criticism and control. The literature has shown, however, that reports of parenting behaviors vary by informant. The current study examined congruence on parent and child reports of parental warmth and psychological control, the association between parents’ and children’s reports of parenting and observational ratings of parent-child interactions, the extent to which parents’ depression moderated these associations. The sample consisted of 243 parent-child dyads. All parents had a history of a depressive disorder during their child’s life. Children were ages 9 to 15 (Meanage = 11.12; SD = 2.38; 53% female) (parents’ Meanage = 42.78, SD = 6.41; 90% female). Parents and children’s depressive symptoms were assessed with self-report measures (Patient Health Questionnaire, and the Center for Epidemiological Studies of Depression, respectively). Parents and children completed a measure of parenting behaviors using the Child Report of Parent Behavior Inventory (CRPBI), which measured parental warmth and psychological control. Parents and youth also participated in a ten-minute laboratory interaction task during which they discussed an emotion arousing situation. Findings indicated that higher levels of parental depression were significantly associated with fewer positive behaviors but not more negative behaviors during a brief laboratory interaction with their child. Parents’ and children’s reports of parental warmth and psychological control were significantly correlated with each other. The association between parent-reported psychological control and observed parent angry coercion was strongest at higher levels of depressive symptoms in parents. Children’s reports about parenting were significantly associated with observers’ ratings of parenting, thus providing further evidence of the validity of each method of assessing parenting behaviors
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