Katherine J Conger

University of California, Davis, Davis, California, United States

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Publications (42)71.24 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: While an accumulating body of research has documented increased risk of psychopathology among children of depressed fathers, most studies have used cross-sectional design, and little is known about offspring outcomes beyond childhood. Using prospective data from a community sample (N = 395), we found that paternal depressive symptoms when children were in early adolescence (age 13) predicted offspring depressive and anxiety symptoms at age 21, controlling for baseline youth symptoms, maternal depressive symptoms, and other known correlates of internalizing problems in early adulthood. Associations were not moderated by maternal depressive symptoms or child gender. These results suggest that the unique and long-term effects of paternal depression on children's risk of mood disorders may persist into adulthood.
    Journal of Research on Adolescence 02/2014; · 1.99 Impact Factor
  • Ben T Reeb, Katherine J Conger, Monica J Martin
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    ABSTRACT: Depression in fathers has been associated with impaired parenting, which, in turn, may function as a central environmental mechanism underlying the adverse effects of paternal depression on children's development. Despite this, evidence suggests that many depressed fathers are able to maintain positive relationships with their children, and little is known about factors associated with better or worse parenting outcomes when fathers experience depression. Using two waves of prospective, longitudinal data from a community sample of fathers and their high school-aged adolescent offspring (N = 324), perceived economic strain was examined as a moderator of the effect of fathers' depressive symptoms on subsequent observer ratings of hostile parenting behaviors. Among fathers experiencing high levels of economic strain, depressive symptoms at offspring age 15 were a significant predictor of hostility toward their adolescent sons at age 18, controlling for family demographics and previous hostile parenting behaviors. Findings and directions for future research are discussed in relation to contemporary models of intergenerational psychopathology transmission. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Family Psychology 03/2013; · 1.89 Impact Factor
  • Chelsea H Leyton, Ben T Reeb, Katherine J Conger
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the effect of parental depression on offspring adjustment has crucial implications for public health. Fathers have been historically underrepresented in this literature, and continue to be, although a growing body of work has associated paternal depression with negative outcomes in adolescents including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and aggression. Research has only begun to examine the mechanisms underlying the familial transmission of risk for depression and surprisingly few studies have examined factors which may moderate the effects of parental depression on offspring outcomes, especially among families with depressed fathers. As a consequence, little is known about how and why fathers' depression places offspring
    12/2012; , ISBN: 978-1-61761-326-5
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    Chelsea H Leyton, Ben T Reeb, Katherine J Conger
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the effect of parental depression on offspring adjustment has crucial implications for public health. Fathers have been historically underrepresented in this literature, and continue to be, although a growing body of work has associated paternal depression with negative outcomes in adolescents including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and aggression. Research has only begun to examine the mechanisms underlying the familial transmission of risk for depression and surprisingly few studies have examined factors which may moderate the effects of parental depression on offspring outcomes, especially among families with depressed fathers. As a consequence, little is known about how and why fathers' depression places offspring
    12/2012;
  • Katherine Jewsbury Conger, Martha A. Rueter, Rand D. Conger
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    ABSTRACT: This chapter presents research from the Iowa Youth and Families Project (IYFP), a longitudinal study of Iowa families who were living in small towns and on farms during the farm crisis of the 1980s. The research was designed to assess how the macrosocial change and economic upheaval that occurred across the US during the 1980s influenced family functioning and the well-being of parents and their children. The 1st section of the chapter describes the empirical and theoretical foundations for the Family Stress Model. The sections that follow summarize findings from the IYFP and other studies relevant to the various processes and mechanisms proposed in the Family Stress Model. The authors also consider research on hypothesized protective mechanisms or dimensions of vulnerability that may moderate the causal linkages proposed in the theoretical model. After reviewing the possible applied significance of this work, they close with a discussion of conclusions that can be drawn from the research conducted thus far and the implications of these findings for future investigations of family economic stress. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
    10/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the degree to which parent positive personality characteristics in terms of conscientiousness, agreeableness and emotional stability predict similar adolescent personality traits over time as well as the role played by positive parenting in this process. Mothers and fathers of 451 White adolescents (52% female, mean age = 13.59 years) were assessed on three occasions, with 2-year lags between each assessment. Parent personality and observed positive parenting both predicted 12(th) graders personality. Additionally, we found evidence for an indirect link between parent personality and later adolescent personality through positive parenting. The results suggest that parents may play a significant role in the development of adolescent personality traits that promote competence and personal well-being across the life course.
    Merrill-Palmer Quarterly 04/2012; 58(2):255-283. · 1.26 Impact Factor
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    Ben T Reeb, Katherine J Conger
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    ABSTRACT: Children and adolescents living in rural communities may be at particular risk for psychiatric problems, yet factors associated with mental health service use in these populations are not clear. This study examined the role of father warmth in offspring psychological treatment utilization in community sample of rural families (n = 298). Observer ratings of paternal warmth were examined as a predictor of adolescent treatment seeking and as a moderator of the longitudinal association between adolescent depressive symptoms and treatment seeking. Paternal warmth was a marginally significant predictor of adolescent mental health service use. The association between adolescent depressive symptoms and treatment seeking varied as a function of paternal behavior; adolescents were more likely to seek needed help in the context of a warm, supportive father. These findings suggest that fathers can play an important role in the intrafamilial processes through which rural adolescents recognize and seek help for their psychological problems.
    Journal of Pediatric Psychology 05/2011; 36(6):661-8. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The interactionist model (IM) of human development (R. D. Conger & M. B. Donellan, 2007) proposes that the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and human development involves a dynamic interplay that includes both social causation (SES influences human development) and social selection (individual characteristics affect SES). Using a multigenerational data set involving 271 families, the current study finds empirical support for the IM. Adolescent personality characteristics indicative of social competence, goal-setting, hard work, and emotional stability predicted later SES, parenting, and family characteristics that were related to the positive development of a third-generation child. Processes of both social selection and social causation appear to account for the association between SES and dimensions of human development indicative of healthy functioning across multiple generations.
    Child Development 01/2011; 82(1):33-47. · 4.92 Impact Factor
  • Katherine Jewsbury Conger, Laurie Kramer
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract— For the vast majority of individuals, relationships with siblings provide a context for life experiences, yet the influences of these relationships are rarely reflected in studies of child and adolescent development. To encourage researchers to take the role of siblings into account in their studies of child development, this Special Section of Child Development Perspectives presents 3 articles that summarize emerging issues related to how siblings are defined in a world of increasingly diverse family forms and multiple cultures and to the unique role of siblings during the transition to adulthood. The Special Section concludes with a commentary that frames sibling issues within the larger context of research on social relationships and child development across the life course.
    Child Development Perspectives 07/2010; 4(2):69 - 71. · 1.56 Impact Factor
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    Rand D Conger, Katherine J Conger, Monica J Martin
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    ABSTRACT: Research during the past decade shows that social class or socioeconomic status (SES) is related to satisfaction and stability in romantic unions, the quality of parent-child relationships, and a range of developmental outcomes for adults and children. This review focuses on evidence regarding potential mechanisms proposed to account for these associations. Research findings reported during the past decade demonstrate support for an interactionist model of the relationship between SES and family life, which incorporates assumptions from both the social causation and social selection perspectives. The review concludes with recommendations for future research on SES, family processes and individual development in terms of important theoretical and methodological issues yet to be addressed.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 06/2010; 72(3):685-704. · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    Ben T Reeb, Katherine J Conger
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    ABSTRACT: Little theoretical or empirical attention has been given to factors associated with better or worse outcomes in offspring of depressed fathers. Drawing from interpersonal models of intergenerational depression transmission in children of depressed mothers, the present investigation of adolescents and their families (N = 424) examined maternal warmth and hostility as moderators of the longitudinal association between paternal and adolescent depressive symptoms. Controlling for family demographic variables, previous adolescent depressive symptoms, and maternal depressive symptoms, fathers' depressive symptoms predicted offspring depressive symptoms among adolescents experiencing low maternal warmth or high maternal hostility. Adolescent girls reporting adversity in their relationships with their mothers were the most vulnerable to risk associated with paternal depressive symptoms. These findings highlight the implications of fathers' mental health for adolescent psychological well-being and add to the growing evidence that family relationships play a crucial role in the transmission of depression from one generation to the next.
    Family science. 04/2010; 1(2):102-111.
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    Ben T Reeb, Katherine J Conger, Ed Y Wu
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the longitudinal relationship between paternal depressive symptoms, paternal hostility, and adolescent functioning in a community sample of 451 families. Paternal depressive symptoms were a strong predictor of adolescent outcome, even after controlling for family demographic variables, maternal depressive symptoms, and previous adolescent symptoms. Adolescent gender and perception of paternal hostility moderated this association such that females reporting high paternal hostility were particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of paternal depressive symptoms. Maternal and paternal depressive symptoms had an additive, rather than interactive, effect on adolescent functioning. These results contribute to our knowledge of the interpersonal processes by which depression runs in families and highlight the importance of including fathers in developmental research on adolescent internalizing problems.
    Fathering A Journal of Theory Research and Practice about Men as Fathers 01/2010; 8(1):131-142.
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    ABSTRACT: The current economic downturn in the U.S. and around the world has refocused attention on the processes through which families and children are affected by economic hardship. This study examines the response to economic pressure of a cohort of youth first studied 20 years ago as adolescents and now grown to adulthood. A total of 271 of the original G2 adolescents (M age = 25.6 years) participated in the study with their young child (G3, M age = 2.31 years at the first time of assessment) and the child's other parent in 81% of the cases. Data analyses were guided by the interactionist model which proposed that positive G2 personality attributes during adolescence would predict lower economic pressure during adulthood and would diminish the negative family processes related to economic pressure expected to disrupt competent G3 development. The findings were consistent with this social selection aspect of the interactionist model. The model also predicted that economic pressure and other aspects of the related family stress process would affect G3 development net of earlier G2 personality. This social causation aspect of the interactionist model also received support. The findings suggest that the relationship between economic conditions and child development reflect a dynamic process of selection and causation that plays out over time and generations.
    Historische Sozialforschung = Historical social research / Zentrum für Historische Sozialforschung, Köln in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Informationszentrum Sozialwissenschaften, Bonn 01/2010; 35(2):169-194. · 0.18 Impact Factor
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    Katherine Jewsbury Conger, Wendy M Little
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    ABSTRACT: Recent research has shed new light on individual development during the early adulthood years, yet few investigators have examined sibling relationships during this stage of life. These relationships undergo transformations as individuals enter adult roles and orient their lives towards friends and romantic partners and establish independence from parents and siblings. This review examines major life events and role transitions such as leaving home, completing school, obtaining employment, getting married, and having children that influence individuals and their sibling relationships. In addition, the review considers how sibling relationships may affect individuals during the transition to adulthood, and considers the context of family and culture. The article concludes with suggestions for future research on sibling relationships during early adulthood and beyond.
    Child Development Perspectives 01/2010; 4(2):87-94. · 1.56 Impact Factor
  • Laurie Kramer, Katherine J Conger
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    ABSTRACT: Siblings have considerable influence on one another's development throughout childhood, yet most human development research has neglected sibling socialization. Through this volume, we aim to enhance our understanding of how siblings play formative roles in one another's social and emotional development. We examine the mechanisms by which children are influenced by their brothers and sisters, clarify the ways in which these mechanisms of socialization are similar to and different from children's socialization experiences with parents, and consider the conditions under which sibling socialization results in positive versus negative consequences for individual development.
    New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development 12/2009; 2009(126):1-12. · 1.17 Impact Factor
  • Katherine J Conger, Clare Stocker, Shirley McGuire
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    ABSTRACT: Stressful life events and experiences may disrupt the typical day-to-day interactions between sisters and brothers that provide the foundation of sibling socialization. This chapter examines four experiences that may affect patterns of sibling interaction: parental marital conflict, parental divorce and remarriage, foster care placement, and a sibling's developmental disability. We propose a model to guide future research on sibling socialization in distressed families and special populations in which qualities of the sibling relationship moderate the effects of stressful life experiences on child and family adjustment.
    New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development 12/2009; 2009(126):45-59. · 1.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The authors investigated the degree to which parents become more similar to each other over time in their childrearing behaviors. Mothers and fathers of 451 adolescents were assessed at 3 points in time, with 2-year lags between each assessment. Data on parent warmth, harshness, and monitoring were collected by parent self-report, adolescent report, and observer ratings of family interactions. After controlling for earlier levels of parenting, parent education, and adolescent deviancy, spouse's parenting and marital negativity were significant predictors of later parenting. Marital negativity tended to be a stronger predictor of fathering than mothering. For fathers, associations between spouse's parenting and later fathering were strongest in marriages characterized by low negativity.
    Developmental Psychology 11/2009; 45(6):1708-22. · 3.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study examined delinquency concordance and the moderating effects of younger sibling perceptions of older sibling popularity in a sample of 587 adolescent sibling pairs. Using a social learning framework, and taking dyad composition into account, perceptions of popularity were hypothesized to strengthen siblings' concordance for delinquency. Older sibling delinquency significantly predicted younger sibling delinquency. Older sibling popularity was not important in predicting boys' delinquency. However, perceptions of older sibling popularity directly predicted reduced delinquency for girls with older sisters. A significant interaction effect was found for girls with older brothers. Older brother delinquency predicted girls' delinquency for girls who perceived their older brother to be relatively popular. There was no delinquency concordance for girls who perceived their older brothers to be less popular.
    Merrill-Palmer Quarterly 10/2009; 55(4):436-453. · 1.26 Impact Factor
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    Ben T Reeb, Katherine J Conger
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    ABSTRACT: Prospective, longitudinal data from a community sample of 451 families were used to assess the unique contribution of paternal depressive symptoms to adolescent functioning. Results indicated that paternal depressive symptoms were significantly related to subsequent depressive symptoms in adolescent offspring; this association remained significant after controlling for previous adolescent depressive symptoms, maternal depressive symptoms, gender, and family demographic variables. Adolescent gender and perception of father-adolescent relationship closeness moderated this association such that paternal depressive symptoms were positively associated with adolescent depressive symptoms for girls whose relations with fathers lacked closeness. These findings add to a growing literature on the interpersonal mechanisms through which depression runs in families, highlighting the need for future investigation of paternal mental health, adolescent gender, and intrafamily relationship quality in relation to adolescent development.
    Journal of Family Psychology 10/2009; 23(5):758-61. · 1.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Siblings represent an important social influence on alcohol use in adolescence. That said, there is a need for studies that examine potential mechanisms by which siblings exert an influence on the likelihood of drinking in adolescence. This paper illustrates a method that utilizes videotaped interaction between sibling dyads along with a micro social coding system that captures rule break behavior between siblings. Sibling interaction was observed in sibling pairs participating in the Iowa Youth and Families Project (IYFP) at baseline; younger sibling use of alcohol was tracked for 3 additional annual assessments. Exposure to older sibling rule break at baseline was associated with later use of alcohol by younger siblings across the 3 annual assessments. Micro social methods hold promise for uncovering processes that underlie sibling contagion for alcohol use in adolescence.
    European journal of developmental science 09/2009; 3(2):161.

Publication Stats

2k Citations
71.24 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2009–2014
    • University of California, Davis
      • Department of Human and Community Development
      Davis, California, United States
    • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
      • Department of Human and Community Development
      Urbana, IL, United States
    • Alpert Medical School - Brown University
      Providence, Rhode Island, United States
  • 1991–2008
    • Iowa State University
      • • Institute for Social and Behavioral Research
      • • Department of Sociology
      Ames, IA, United States
  • 2007
    • Michigan State University
      • Department of Psychology
      East Lansing, MI, United States