Maternal Child-Rearing Attitudes and Role Satisfaction and Children's Temperament as Antecedents of Adolescent Depressive Tendencies: Follow-up Study of 6- to 15-Year-Olds

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Abstract

Development of depressive tendencies was assessed over a 9-year period in a random sample of 389 Finnish children. Predictors of maternal role satisfaction and hostile child-rearing attitudes, assessed when the children were ages 6 and 9 years, respectively, and a temperament predictor of perceived child difficultness, assessed when the children were age 6 years, were measured using questionnaires designed for this study. Depressive tendencies were assessed by a self-report at age 15 (modification of Beck's Depression Inventory). Using structural equation modeling, we tested a hypothesized model comprising direct as well as mediated effects between the childhood predictor variables and adolescent depressive tendencies. The results indicated support for a similar mediational model in girls and boys. Low maternal role satisfaction and maternal perceptions of child difficultness, measured when children were age 6 years, predicted hostile maternal child-rearing attitudes measured when children were age 9 years, which in turn had a significant direct effect on depressive tendencies among these children during adolescence. The only other direct effect was found solely in girls: Low maternal role satisfaction predicted adolescent depressive tendencies. These results underline the close interplay of child temperament and mothering factors in the development of depressive tendencies in girls and boys.

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