Depression in fathers has been associated with impaired parenting, which, in turn, may function as a central environmental mechanism underlying the adverse effects of paternal depression on children's development. Despite this, evidence suggests that many depressed fathers are able to maintain positive relationships with their children, and little is known about factors associated with better or worse parenting outcomes when fathers experience depression. Using two waves of prospective, longitudinal data from a community sample of fathers and their high school aged adolescent offspring (N = 324), perceived economic strain was examined as a moderator of the effect of fathers' depressive symptoms on subsequent observer ratings of hostile parenting behaviors. Among fathers experiencing high levels of economic strain, depressive symptoms at offspring age 15 were a significant predictor of hostility toward their adolescent sons at age 18, controlling for family demographics and previous hostile parenting behaviors. Findings and directions for future research are discussed in relation to contemporary models of intergenerational psychopathology transmission.
- Economic strain