This study used a large (N = 519), longitudinal sample of adoptive families to test overreactive parenting as a mediator of associations between parental depressive symptoms and early childhood externalizing, and parents’ social support satisfaction as a moderator. Maternal parenting (18 months) mediated the association between maternal depressive symptoms (9 months) and child externalizing problems (27 months). Paternal parenting was not a significant mediator. Unexpectedly, we found a cross-over effect for the moderating role of social support satisfaction, such that partners’ social support satisfaction reduced the strength of the association between each parent's own depressive symptoms and overreactive parenting. Results point to the importance of accounting for broader family context in predicting early childhood parenting and child outcomes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology