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30-08-2016 | Original Paper | Uitgave 11/2016

Journal of Child and Family Studies 11/2016

Do Children’s Attributions Mediate the Link Between Parental Conditional Regard and Child Depression and Emotion?

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 11/2016
Auteurs:
Laura Perrone, Jessica L. Borelli, Patricia Smiley, Hannah F. Rasmussen, Lori M. Hilt

Abstract

Both parental conditional regard for academics and depressogenic attributions are related to detrimental psychological outcomes for children. Here we examine associations among parental conditional negative regard, child depressogenic attributions, child depressive symptoms, and emotion reactivity in children between the ages of 8 and 12, as well as whether children’s self-reported and behavioral attributions for negative events mediate associations between parental conditional negative regard for academics with children’s depressive symptoms and emotion reactivity. In Study 1 (N = 108, M age  = 9.73, 50 male), children’s self-reported attributions for hypothetical events mediated the link between parental conditional negative regard and child depressive symptoms. In Study 2 (N = 104, M age  = 10.28, 54 male), children attempted an impossible puzzle task while their skin conductance level was monitored, after which they completed an interview that was coded for spontaneous attributions for failure. Children’s spontaneous attributions mediated the link between parental conditional negative regard and child emotion reactivity, but not depressive symptoms. Findings suggest that children’s attributions may be a mechanism through which parental conditional negative regard is related to children’s depressive symptoms and emotion reactivity during a performance challenge. These results have implications for developmental models of depression risk and potential areas for clinical interventions with both children and their parents.

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