Psychosocial predictors of maternal depressive symptoms, parenting attitudes, and child behavior in single-parent families

Lynne A. Hall, Diana N. Gurley, Barbara Sachs, Richard J. Kryscio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purposes of the study were to identify psychosocial predictors of depressive symptoms among low-income, single mothers and to investigate the effects of maternal psychosocial factors, depressive symptoms, and parenting attitudes on children's behavior. In-home interviews were conducted with 225 mothers to obtain data on their everyday stressors, coping strategies, social resources, depressive symptoms, and parenting attitudes, as well as reports of their children's behavior. High depressive symptoms occurred among 59.6% of the women. Higher depressive symptoms were associated with greater everyday stressors, fewer social resources, and greater use of avoidance coping. Neither social resources nor coping strategies buffered the relationship between everyday stressors and depressive symptoms. Maternal depressive symptoms predicted parenting attitudes. Parenting attitudes, in turn, predicted child behavior. These findings suggest that depressive symptoms are indirectly associated with mothers' reports of child behavior through their influence on parenting attitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-220
Number of pages7
JournalNursing Research
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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