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24-10-2018 | Original Article

Latent Profiles of Perceived Parental Psychopathology: Associations with Emerging Adult Psychological Problems

Child Psychiatry & Human Development
Cliff McKinney, Annabel O. Franz


The understanding of the complex relations between parent and child psychopathology would be enhanced if common patterns of parental problem types or particular parent dyads were identified. The current study used latent profile analysis to allow for a person-centered approach to the examination of which parental psychopathology subgroups based on their perceived depressive, anxiety, and antisocial problems are both most common and most strongly associated with emerging adult psychopathology. Participants included 2204 emerging adults enrolled in a Southern United States university who reported on their perceptions of their parents’ and their own current psychological problems. A 5-profile solution for perceived parental psychopathology was identified and represented anticipated groups (e.g., low problems, high problems, high internalizing only, high externalizing only). The largest effects of these profiles were found for emerging adult antisocial problems, and paternal profiles demonstrated larger effect sizes relative to maternal profiles. When both parents were perceived as having elevated problems, emerging adults also generally reported the highest rates of their own psychological problems. Results also suggest that perceiving as having low problems may protect against the negative effects of the other parent’s antisocial problems or depressive/anxiety problems, but may not be sufficient when a parent has elevated problems across domains. Findings indicate the importance of considering varying levels of psychopathology.

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