Antecedent-consequence conditions in maternal mood and child adjustment: A four-year cross-lagged study

Frank J. Elgar, Lori J. Curtis, Patrick J. McGrath, Daniel A. Waschbusch, Sherry H. Stewart

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83 Scopus citations


Examined the mutual influence on maternal depressive symptoms and child adjustment problems and their antecedent-consequence conditions across 3 cycles of panel data collected over a 4-year period in the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY). Results indicated stability in, and relations between, maternal and child outcomes. Cross-lagged panel correlations showed that maternal depressive symptoms tended to precede child aggression and hyperactivity but tended to follow child emotional problems. Temporal relations were interpreted in the context of mechanisms that transmit risk between mothers and children. Logistic regression analysis showed bidirectional risk between maternal mood and child adjustment after earlier symptoms were statistically controlled. These findings indicate that maternal depression increases the risk of adjustment problems in children, and vice versa, underscoring the intergenerational transmission of psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-374
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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