Mothers’ and Fathers’ Parental Warmth, Hostility/Rejection/Neglect, and Behavioral Control: Specific and Unique Relations with Parents’ Depression Versus Anxiety Symptoms

Catherine C. Epkins, Shannon L. Harper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective. This study advanced and tested conceptualizations of parents’ depression and anxiety in relation to parental warmth, hostility/rejection/neglect, and behavioral control, before and after controlling for comorbid symptoms. Design. Two-parent families (N = 119) with girls (aged 8 to 12) completed questionnaires on parents’ and girls’ depression and anxiety and parents’ parenting. Results. Both parents’ depression and anxiety were related to more hostility/rejection/neglect; and the relations with depression remained after controlling for anxiety, yet the relations with anxiety became non-significant after controlling for depression. Mothers’ and fathers’ depression remained significantly and uniquely related to more hostility/rejection/neglect after controlling for their anxiety in addition to parental warmth, family socioeconomic status, parents’ treatment status, and girls’ depression and anxiety symptoms. Both mothers’ and fathers’ anxiety were related to higher behavioral control, before and after controlling for the parent’s depression, hostility/rejection/neglect, and treatment status, as well as family socioeconomic status and girls’ depression and anxiety symptoms. Fathers’ depression was related to lower behavioral control only after controlling for fathers’ anxiety, and remained so after also controlling for fathers’ hostility/rejection/neglect and the other control variables. Fathers’ depression and anxiety also interacted in relation to behavioral control. Conclusions. Mothers’ and fathers’ depression and anxiety symptoms are differentially related to parental warmth, hostility/rejection/neglect, and behavioral control, especially when comorbid symptoms are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-145
Number of pages21
JournalParenting
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016

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