How does longitudinally measured maternal expressed emotion affect internalizing and externalizing symptoms of adolescents from the general community?

Research Center Adolescent Development at Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 6.46). 03/2011; 52(11):1174-83. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02400.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In previous studies, maternal expressed emotion (EE) has been found to be a good predictor of the course of adolescent internalizing and externalizing symptoms. However, these studies have been cross-section as opposed to longitudinal. The goal of this study is to examine longitudinal data of perceived maternal EE and adolescent internalizing and externalizing symptoms to determine if maternal EE affected the course of adolescent symptoms (a parent effect model), or if the course of adolescent symptoms affected maternal EE (a child effect model), or if maternal EE and adolescent symptoms affected one another bidirectionally.
Dutch adolescents (N = 497; 57% boys; M = 13 years) from the general community and their mothers were prospectively studied annually for three years. At all waves the mothers completed the Level of Expressed Emotion (LEE) questionnaire and the adolescents completed self-rated measures of internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to analyze the longitudinal data.
The results of the SEM analyses clearly demonstrate that a child effect model best describes the relationship between maternal EE and the course of adolescent internalizing and externalizing symptoms.
This longitudinal study of the mothers' EE perceptions suggests that it is the course of the internalizing and externalizing symptoms of adolescents from the general community that affects maternal EE, and not the mothers' perceived EE influencing the course of the adolescents' symptoms. Since this study was based on adolescents from the general community, it is suggested that these findings should also be replicated in clinical samples of adolescents.

Download full-text


Available from: Susan J T Branje, Sep 29, 2015
47 Reads
  • Source
    • "All of these aforementioned studies have demonstrated that adolescent psychopathological symptoms were significantly predictive of a more negative parent-adolescent relationship later on, suggesting that adolescent characteristics may indeed evoke, reinforce, and/or shape negative interaction patterns between adolescents and their parents. Prospective longitudinal studies of potential bidirectional associations between the specific construct of parental criticism and adolescent anxiety and depressive symptoms, which are needed to answer questions of direction of effects, are however scarce (Frye and Garber 2005; Hale et al. 2011b). Examining the direction of effects between parental criticism and adolescent symptoms of anxiety and depression is not only of theoretical interest, but also of practical importance, as evidence of specific effects (either parent-driven, child-driven, or bidirectional) may guide prevention and interventions aimed at ameliorating both parental criticism and adolescent anxiety/depressive symptoms. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This 6-year longitudinal study examined the direction of effects (i.e., parent effects, child effects, or reciprocal effects) between maternal criticism and adolescent depressive and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) symptoms, including adolescents' perceptions of criticism as a potential mediator. Consistent with recent empirical findings on associations between parenting and adolescent internalizing symptoms, we hypothesized stronger child effects than parent effects. A community sample of 497 adolescents (M age = 13.03 at T1, 57 % boys) reported annually on their depressive and GAD symptoms as well as their perceptions of parental criticism. Their mothers (M age = 44.41 at T1) also reported annually on their own critical behavior toward their adolescent. As expected, cross-lagged panel models demonstrated stronger child effects (i.e., adolescent psychopathology predicting maternal criticism) than parent effects (i.e., maternal criticism predicting adolescent psychopathology) for both adolescent depressive and GAD symptoms, including adolescent perceived criticism as a significant mediator. Our results emphasize the importance of considering (1) potential bidirectional influences over time, contrary to a focus on parent effects on adolescent mental health, as well as (2) adolescent perceptions of parenting as an important potential mediator in associations between aspects of the parent-adolescent relationship and adolescent internalizing psychopathological symptoms.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 06/2014; 42(5):755-766. DOI:10.1007/s10802-013-9817-x · 3.09 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This 3-year, multi-informant study examined whether youths' perceptions of parental privacy invasion predicted lower parental knowledge over time, as a function of increased adolescent secrecy. Participants were 497 Dutch adolescents (Time 1 M = 13 years, SD = 0.5; 57% boys) and both parents. Higher youth-reported invasion predicted lower father- and mother-reported knowledge 1 year later. A link between privacy invasion and youths' increased secrecy mediated the association between privacy invasion and mothers' lower knowledge. Further, mothers' perceptions of adolescent secrecy mediated the association between adolescent-reported secrecy and mothers' knowledge. No mediation existed for father-report models. The results suggest that privacy invasion is counterproductive to parents' efforts to remain knowledgeable about youths, due to increased adolescent secrecy. We discuss the implications for family communication processes and successful privacy negotiations during adolescence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
    Developmental Psychology 08/2012; 49(7). DOI:10.1037/a0029484 · 3.21 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with conflicted parent–child relationships. The underlying mechanisms of this association are not yet fully understood. We investigated the cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships between externalizing psychopathology in children with ADHD, and expressed emotion (EE; warmth and criticism) and psychopathology in mothers. Method In this 6-year follow-up study 385 children with an ADHD combined subtype were included at baseline (mean=11.5 years, 82.7% male), of which 285 children (74%) were available at follow-up (mean=17.5 years, 83.6% male). At both time points, measures of child psychopathology (i.e., ADHD severity, oppositional, and conduct problems), maternal EE, and maternal psychopathology (i.e., ADHD and affective problems) were obtained. Results EE was not significantly correlated over time. At baseline, we found a nominally negative association (p≤.05) between maternal warmth and child ADHD severity. At follow-up, maternal criticism was significantly associated with child oppositional problems, and nominally with child conduct problems. Maternal warmth was nominally associated with child oppositional and conduct problems. These associations were independent of maternal psychopathology. No longitudinal associations were found between EE at baseline and child psychopathology at follow-up, or child psychopathology at baseline and EE at follow-up. Conclusions The results support previous findings of cross-sectional associations between parental EE and child psychopathology. This, together with the finding that EE was not stable over six years, suggests that EE is a momentary state measure varying with contextual and developmental factors. EE does not appear to be a risk factor for later externalizing behavior in children with ADHD.
    Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 01/2013; 53(3). DOI:10.1016/j.jaac.2013.11.011 · 7.26 Impact Factor
Show more