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The relationship between maternal depression and adolescent internalizing: An investigation of the mediating role of mother -adolescent interactions

Kristen Eve Pollack-Dorta, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Abstract

This dissertation investigated a mediational model of the association between maternal depression and adolescent internalizing in a community sample of rural adolescents and their families. Mothers' and adolescents' perceptions of their videotaped interactions were the hypothesized mediators in the association between maternal depression and adolescent internalizing, particularly for girls. The mediational hypothesis was not confirmed in this study; however, important information was acquired while investigating the various steps of the mediational model and through other exploratory analyses. Two important findings from previous research were replicated with this particular sample. Girls exhibited higher levels of internalizing than boys, and maternal depression was associated with adolescent internalizing. Conflictual and submissive behaviors were related to both maternal depression and adolescent internalizing. More specifically, depressed mothers and internalizing girls exhibited a pattern of ineffectual conflict marked by higher levels of submission and conflict whereas internalizing boys exhibited higher levels of submission. Maternal depression and adolescent depression also were related to decreased sensitivity to conflictual and submissive behaviors. Implications of these interaction patterns for difficulties establishing autonomy and for exacerbating the risk for continued or more severe symptoms are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Women's Studies|Psychology, Clinical|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Kristen Eve Pollack-Dorta, "The relationship between maternal depression and adolescent internalizing: An investigation of the mediating role of mother -adolescent interactions" (January 1, 1998). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. Paper AAI9841912.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI9841912

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