Family strain predicts subsequent depressive symptoms in middle-aged adults: Hope mediates and self-compassion moderates the relation

Erin G. Mistretta, Mary C. Davis, Ellen Yeung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: Interpersonal strain is linked with depressive symptoms in middle-aged adults. This study examined 1) the extent to which hope mediates the relation between family strain and depressive symptoms, and 2) whether these indirect effects are conditional on self-compassion. Methods: Self-reported family strain, self-compassion, hope, and depressive symptoms were assessed in a community sample of 762 middle-aged adults aged 40-65. Follow-up measures of depressive symptoms were assessed approximately 20 months later. Results: Hope mediated the relation between family strain and depressive symptoms. For individuals high versus low in self-compassion, strain-related declines in hope predicted smaller increases in depressive symptoms. Discussion: Taken together, the findings suggest that family strain may lead individuals to experience less hope and subsequent increases in depressive symptoms. However, a self-compassionate attitude may serve as a resilience resource, weakening the hope – depressive symptoms relation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-58
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Hope
  • Middle-age
  • Relationship strain
  • Self-compassion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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