In a community sample of 163 children (ages 9-12) and their mothers, we explored modeling-based hypotheses that may underlie how cognitive vulnerability components to depression (negative cognitive triad and negative attributional style) are transmitted from mother to preadolescent children. Results found mothers' negative cognitive triad partially mediated the relation between mothers' depressive symptoms and children's negative cognitive triad. Moreover, mothers' negative cognitive triad was uniquely and significantly related to children's negative cognitive triad, after statistically adjusting for the effects of mothers' depressive and anxiety symptoms in our full sample, as well as in a subsample of our mothers with more depressive symptoms. Most importantly, in our full sample and our subsamples with more depressive symptoms, the amount of time that mothers reported spending with their children moderated the relation between mothers' and children's negative cognitive triad, with significantly stronger relations found between mothers' and children's negative cognitive triad when mothers reported spending higher in comparison to lower amounts of time spent together. Our modeling-based hypotheses with respect to attributional style, and child sex, were not supported. Implications of our findings for further understanding of family-based modeling mechanisms of risk, and directions for future research, are highlighted.
- Children's Cognitive Styles
- Cognitive Vulnerability
- Parent and Child Cognitive Vulnerability
- Parents' Depressive Symptoms