Parents' and Children's Cognitive Style: The Role of Parents' Practices

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Abstract

Depression among children is a prevalent, distressing phenomenon. Children's hope and negative attributional style are significant precursors for children's depressive symptoms. Thus, the aim of the current study is to examine parents' characteristics that contribute to children's attributional style and hope in a sample of 85 Israeli young elementary school age children (mean [SD] age, 6.70 [0.49] years) and their parents. Results demonstrated positive associations between both mothers' and fathers' positive attributional style and children's hope and positive attributional style; however, parents' hope was not associated with children's hope or with children's positive attributional style. Mothers' overprotectiveness and psychological control were negatively associated with children's hope and positive attributional style, whereas fathers' overprotectiveness was positively associated with these variables. Moreover, few parent and child sex effects were found with fathers' criticism associating negatively with boys' attributional style and hope and positively with girls' attributional style. Finally, our study demonstrated a possible advantage of the fit between mothers' and fathers' practices to children's positive attributional style and hope. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.

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