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Parental relationship quality and adolescent depressive symptoms: Investigating the role of parental warmth and hostility in United States military families

APA Citation:

Lucier-Greer, M., Howard, S., & Mancini, J. A. (2020). Parental relationship quality and adolescent depressive symptoms: Investigating the role of parental warmth and hostility in United States military families. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/jmft.12451

Abstract Created by REACH:

Due to frequent transitions, parents play an important role in the lives and sense of stability of military-connected adolescents. As such, parenting practices may be especially important for adolescent well-being. Additionally, the quality of the romantic relationship between the parents may “spill over” into and affect their parenting practices, which may hold implications for adolescents’ wellbeing. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the associations between parental romantic relationship quality, parenting practices (i.e., adolescents’ reports of parental warmth and hostility), and adolescent depressive symptoms in a sample of 229 military families. Parental romantic relationship quality was indirectly related to adolescent depressive symptoms through their parenting practices, which supports the spillover concept. However, the parenting practices that explained the romantic relationship qualityadolescent depressive symptoms association were different for fathers and mothers.

Focus:

Couples
Mental health
Parents
Youth

Branch of Service:

Army

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Active duty service member
Child of a service member or veteran
Military families
Other
Spouse of service member or veteran
Civilian

Population:

School age (6 - 12 yrs)
Adolescence (13 - 17 yrs)
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)

Methodology:

Cross-Sectional Study
Quantitative Study

Authors:

Lucier‐Greer, Mallory, Howard, Samantha, Mancini, Jay A.

Abstract:

Military life is characterized by regular transitions; thus, parents are positioned to serve as stable protective factors for adolescents. We investigated a theory-informed model that assessed direct and indirect relationships between parental relationship quality, parental behaviors, and adolescent depressive symptomatology using cross-sectional data of military families in the United States (US). Participant families (N = 229), recruited via convenience sampling to take a computer-based survey, included an active duty father, his spouse, and an adolescent. Mother’s couple relationship quality was indirectly linked to adolescent depressive symptoms through maternal warmth. Conversely, father’s couple relationship quality was indirectly linked to adolescent depressive symptoms via paternal hostility. In other words, parental couple relationship quality was indirectly related to adolescent depressive symptoms, but this relationship differed by parent (i.e., warmth for mothers and hostility for fathers). Findings were similar for adolescent boys and girls.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

John Wiley & Sons

Publication Type:

Article
REACH Publication
Featured Research

Author Affiliation:

Auburn University, MLG
Florida State University, SH
Virginia Tech, JAM
The University of Georgia, JAM

Keywords:

military life transitions, protective factors, asolescents, parental relationship quality

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

Sponsors:

This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (NIFA award No. 2009‐48680‐06069, Jay A. Mancini, Principal Investigator).

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