Date of Award

5-2013

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Tammy D. Barry

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Christopher Barry

Committee Member 2 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 3

Gilbert R. Parra

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to investigate if child emotion regulation difficulties mediated the relation between maternal depression and child externalizing behaviors. In addition, understanding whether family structure is an important moderator in the relation between maternal depression and child emotion regulation difficulties was of interest in the present study. Archival data from 210 children (64.3% boys; 71.9% self-identified as non-Caucasian, 28.1% as Caucasian), one female caregiver, and the child's teacher were used. It was hypothesized that child emotion regulation difficulties would be positively related to maternal depression and child externalizing behaviors and would mediate the relation between maternal depression and child externalizing behaviors. It was further hypothesized that children from a single-mother home (compared to a home with a mother and one other adult) where the mother had higher levels of depression would have the highest level of emotion regulation difficulties. Data were analyzed cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Although no mediation or moderation effects were found, maternal depression emerged as a significant predictor of child externalizing behaviors (parent report, cross-sectional and longitudinal). Additionally, child emotion regulation difficulties emerged as a significant predictor of child externalizing behaviors (parent and teacher report, cross-sectional only). Results indicated that family structure and child emotion regulation difficulties are important aspects to consider in the context of child psychosocial outcomes.

Share

COinS