Felton JW, Shadur JM, Havewala M, Cassidy J, Lejuez CW, and Chronis-Tuscano A. Specific Pathways from Parental Distress Reactions to Adolescent Depressive Symptoms: The Mediating Role of Youths' Reactions to Negative Life Events. J Psychopathol Behav Assess 2022; 44(3):750-762.
J Psychopathol Behav Assess
The current multimethod longitudinal study examines how parents' distress reactions to adolescents' negative emotions may shape youths' own perceptions of negative life events and subsequent increases in depressive symptomology. Ninety adolescents (41 girls, 49 boys, average age = 16.5 years old) and their parents were assessed over three timepoints. We found that greater parent-reported distress reactions to adolescents' emotions predicted subsequent increase in youths' own self-reported negative reactions to stressful experiences over a two-week period, which in turn predicted steeper increases in youth-reported depressive symptoms across this same two-week period. Moreover, youths' negative reactions mediated the relation between parent emotion socialization and increases in adolescent depressive symptoms. These findings support the use of interventions that simultaneously target parent and child distress to prevent the onset of adolescent depression.