Maternal Depression and Parenting: Can Social Support Make a Difference? Público

Peretz, Michelle Anne (2014)

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Parenting is a major determinant of child behavioral and health outcomes, and thus it is critical to examine what factors impede or aid parenting in high-risk populations. The present study examined the impact of social support on the parenting behaviors of depressed mothers. Independent associations between these constructs have been demonstrated in previous studies; however, the mechanism through which social support impacts parenting in depressed mothers is still unclear. A sample of 131 mothers (97 with a history of depressive disorders) participated in this study with their preschool aged children. Social support was measured using the total Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) as well as the Significant Other, Friend, and Family subscales. Maternal depression was operationalized in two ways: current depressive symptoms, using Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI) and total duration of mental illness during the child's lifetime, measured in months using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID). Parenting behaviors, obtained from videos of parent-child interactions, fell under three categories: Negative Engagement, Positive Engagement and Positive Reinforcement. Results were obtained by conducting simple and multiple linear regressions. Duration of mental illness significantly predicted frequency of Negative Engagement behaviors. Current and total duration of maternal depression also significantly predicted perception of social support. Contrary to predictions, social support was not associated with parenting behaviors nor did it moderate the maternal depression-parenting relationship. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Parenting and Psychopathology....1
Social Support....2
Social Support and Psychopathology...4
Social Support and Parenting...6
Social Support, Parenting and Psychopathology...7



Clinical Implications...21
Strengths and Limitations.....22
Future directions...23



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