Interparental and Parent–Child Conflict Predicting Adolescent Depressive Symptoms
Smith, Olivia A.
Nelson, Jackie A.
Adelson, Megan J.
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Objective: The current study explored longitudinal family conflict predictors of adolescent depressive symptoms occurring during middle childhood. Methods: We tested the mediating effects of mother–child and father–child conflict when children were in 6th grade on the relation between interparental conflict when children were in 5th grade and adolescent depressive symptoms when children were in 9th grade in a sample of 601 families enrolled in the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Results: Fathers’ reports of interparental conflict at 5th grade were related to greater mother–child and father–child conflict at 6th grade, and mothers’ reports of interparental conflict at 5th grade were related to greater mother–child conflict at 6th grade. Further, greater mother–child conflict at 6th grade was related to greater adolescent depressive symptoms at 9th grade. Conclusion: Results highlight the importance of understanding family system processes that unfold over time in predicting adolescent depressive symptoms. © 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
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