Predictors of Childhood Depressed Mood: A Two-Generational Study

David W. Brook, Jung Yeon Lee, Neo K. Morojele, Gary Rosenberg, Judith S. Brook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study tests a model of intergenerational influences on childhood depressed mood that proposes (1) indirect and direct paths from maternal drug use to offspring depressed mood; and (2) pathway from maternal maladaptive personality attributes to offspring depressed mood via adverse child-rearing practices. A cross-sectional two-generational design was employed. Data was obtained utilizing structured questionnaires administered by trained interviewers in the homes of the participants. The sample was comprised of African American and Puerto Rican children (N = 210) and their mothers living in New York City. Using structural equation modeling, the analysis showed that maladaptive personality attributes are associated with adverse maternal child-rearing practices, which, in turn, are related to depressed mood in the offspring. Maternal drug use had a direct effect on offspring depressed mood. Maternal drug use also had an indirect path to offspring depressed mood via maladaptive personality attributes and adverse maternal child-rearing practices. The total effects analysis indicated that adverse maternal child-rearing practices was the strongest predictor of childhood depressed mood. This finding was consistent with the proximal position of the latent construct within the model. Maternal personality attributes and drug use were of lesser importance, but still statistically significant. The results suggest that maternal drug use and maladaptive personality attributes pose risks for the future depressive mood of children. The relative strength of positive maternal involvement with offspring should be the focus of preventive and therapeutic intervention efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2786-2794
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Volume24
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 Sep 2015

Keywords

  • Childhood depressed mood
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Maternal child-rearing practices
  • Maternal drug use

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