Family members are theorized to influence each other via transactional or systems related processes; however, the literature is limited given its focus on mother–child relationships and the utilization of statistical approaches that do not model interdependence within family members. The current study evaluated associations between self-reported parental affect, parenting behavior, and child depressive symptoms among 103 mother–father–child triads. Children ranged in age from 8 to 12 years. Higher maternal negative affect was associated with greater maternal and paternal harsh/negative parenting behavior. While maternal negative affect was directly associated with child depressive symptoms, paternal negative affect was indirectly associated with child depressive symptoms via paternal harsh/negative behavior. In a separate model, maternal positive affect was indirectly associated with child depressive symptoms via maternal supportive/positive behavior. These results highlight the importance of simultaneously modeling maternal and paternal characteristics as predictors of child depressive symptoms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies