All in the Family: How Parental Criticism Impacts Depressive Symptoms in Youth
Gepubliceerd in: Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology | Uitgave 1/2022Log in om toegang te krijgen
Despite a strong connection between family environment and mood symptoms in youth, little research to date has examined potential underlying mechanisms. We propose an etiological model investigating how parenting (i.e., expressed emotion, or EE) affects youth depression by shaping their emotion regulation abilities. Forty-six youth and caregivers participated in this cross-sectional study. Family environment was assessed using the Five-Minute Speech Sample (FMSS) and the Levels of Expressed Emotion Scale (LEE). The Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS) and the Children’s Depression Rating Scale-Revised (CDRS-R) were used to assess youth emotion regulation and depressive symptoms, respectively. Analyses demonstrated no significant relationships between type of reporter (i.e., independent rater, parent, youth) of parental EE and criticism. Mediation analyses suggested that youth-reported parental EE predicted greater levels of youth depressive symptoms, and that this association was mediated by emotion regulation. This study has direct clinical implications, elucidating the importance of strengthening positive parent–child communication to support the development of emotion regulation skills and psychological well-being for youth.