Title

The Effects of Parental Relationships and Psychological Wellbeing on Childhood Depression

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Graduate

Major

Clinical Psychology

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Esther Malm

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

The Effects of Parental Relationships and Psychological Wellbeing on Childhood Depression

Previous research shows that adult depression increases the risk of romantic and marital relationships dissolving (Reichman, Corman, & Noonan, 2015). The wellbeing of children are often impacted in multiple ways. While studies indicate that parental depression (e.g. maternal) is positively associated with an increase in internalizing symptoms in children (Kuckertz, Mitchell, & Wiggins, 2017), there is evidence that children with separated parents with high conflict have increased emotional symptoms including depression (Stadelmann, Perren, Groeben, & Klitzing, 2010), and increased externalizing behaviors (Hetherington & Stanley-Hagan, 1999). Adolescent wellbeing have also been found to decrease for those whose parents have recently separated (Walper, Thonnissen, & Alt, 2015). Parental divorce and depression in adulthood are positively related over time (O’Connor, Thorpe, Dunn, & Golding, 1999), while the mechanism of effect between these two on children may vary. One proposed mechanism of effect is parental relationship quality during childhood as a mediator

The purpose of this research is to better understand the effects parental relationships and depression have on childhood depression. It was hypothesized that parental depression and parental relationship status will independently and significantly be positively associated with childhood depression. Secondly, parental relationship status will mediate the relationship between parental depression and childhood depression. Using R, a statistical software package data was examined through secondary data analysis using the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing longitudinal dataset. Data from parents and their children at year nine and fifteen were used to conduct analyses.

Preliminary analyses suggests that there are significant positive relationships between parental depression and childhood depression (r=.26; p<.01), while negatively correlated with parental relationship status (r=-.09; p<.01) both at year nine and fifteen. Mediation analyses were also conducted between these variables and showed that as expected parental relationship status fully mediated the relationship between parental depression and childhood depression, (b=-.18; p<.01). Meaning that parental relationship status is the process through which parental depression is related to childhood depression. These findings support previous research and provide further evidence that parental relationships and psychological wellbeing can negatively impact children, including childhood depression.

Keywords: Parental Relationships, Psychological Wellbeing, Childhood, Depression

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Psychology Department Panel: Completed Projects

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The Effects of Parental Relationships and Psychological Wellbeing on Childhood Depression

The Effects of Parental Relationships and Psychological Wellbeing on Childhood Depression

Previous research shows that adult depression increases the risk of romantic and marital relationships dissolving (Reichman, Corman, & Noonan, 2015). The wellbeing of children are often impacted in multiple ways. While studies indicate that parental depression (e.g. maternal) is positively associated with an increase in internalizing symptoms in children (Kuckertz, Mitchell, & Wiggins, 2017), there is evidence that children with separated parents with high conflict have increased emotional symptoms including depression (Stadelmann, Perren, Groeben, & Klitzing, 2010), and increased externalizing behaviors (Hetherington & Stanley-Hagan, 1999). Adolescent wellbeing have also been found to decrease for those whose parents have recently separated (Walper, Thonnissen, & Alt, 2015). Parental divorce and depression in adulthood are positively related over time (O’Connor, Thorpe, Dunn, & Golding, 1999), while the mechanism of effect between these two on children may vary. One proposed mechanism of effect is parental relationship quality during childhood as a mediator

The purpose of this research is to better understand the effects parental relationships and depression have on childhood depression. It was hypothesized that parental depression and parental relationship status will independently and significantly be positively associated with childhood depression. Secondly, parental relationship status will mediate the relationship between parental depression and childhood depression. Using R, a statistical software package data was examined through secondary data analysis using the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing longitudinal dataset. Data from parents and their children at year nine and fifteen were used to conduct analyses.

Preliminary analyses suggests that there are significant positive relationships between parental depression and childhood depression (r=.26; p<.01), while negatively correlated with parental relationship status (r=-.09; p<.01) both at year nine and fifteen. Mediation analyses were also conducted between these variables and showed that as expected parental relationship status fully mediated the relationship between parental depression and childhood depression, (b=-.18; p<.01). Meaning that parental relationship status is the process through which parental depression is related to childhood depression. These findings support previous research and provide further evidence that parental relationships and psychological wellbeing can negatively impact children, including childhood depression.

Keywords: Parental Relationships, Psychological Wellbeing, Childhood, Depression