Parental mental health and children's adjustment: the quality of marital interaction and parenting as mediating factors.

Department of Clinical Medicine, Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Helsinki University, Finland.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 5.42). 03/2003; 44(2):227-41. DOI: 10.1111/1469-7610.t01-1-00116
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Research has put emphasis on the process of transmission of mental-health problems from parents to children. This study examines the specificity of the interpersonal relationships mediating these symptoms.
Information about parent and child mental health, marital interaction, and parenting was received from 527 mothers and fathers. Information about child mental health was also received from their 12-year-old children (260 girls and 267 boys).
The results confirm that parental mental-health problems can compromise a mother's and father's parenting abilities and represent a threat to their children's adjustment. The results suggest that the different types of parental mental-health problems initiate specific paths between parental and child mental-health problems. The results also reveal examples of how the mediation may depend on both the parents' and the children's gender.
The results further suggest that opposite-sex parenting is important to children's adjustment during the years of early adolescence. Keywords: Child development, epidemiology, gender, marital relationships, mental health, parenting.

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