Parenting intervention effects on parental depressive symptoms: Examining the role of parenting and child behavior

Jessie J. Wong, Nancy Gonzales, Zorash Montaño, Larry Dumka, Roger E. Millsap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parental depression is a major risk factor in child development. Growing research suggests parenting programs can positively impact parental depressive symptoms, although the specific mechanisms that explain these effects are unknown. The current study examined parenting mediated effects of a parenting program on mothers' and fathers' depressive symptoms, as well as the role of child behavior in linking parenting to reductions in depressive symptoms. The study samples included 494 mothers and 288 fathers of Mexican origin adolescents who participated in a randomized trial of the Bridges to High School Program/Proyecto Puentes a la Secundaria, a universal prevention and promotion intervention that included parent training but did not directly target parental depressive symptoms. Parenting mediator models tested program effects on parental depressive symptoms through changes in harsh and supportive parenting. Results showed a significant indirect intervention effect on maternal depressive symptoms through changes in mothers' harsh parenting. Next, child behavior models revealed a partial mediation effect of harsh parenting and a full mediation effect of supportive parenting on maternal depressive symptoms through mothers' reports of child externalizing symptoms. Indirect effects of fathers' harsh and supportive parenting on paternal depressive symptoms were also found through fathers' reports of child behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-277
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Keywords

  • Child development
  • Intervention
  • Parental depression
  • Parenting
  • Prevention
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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