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01-04-2011 | Uitgave 3/2011 Open Access

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 3/2011

Maternal Depressive Symptoms and Child Social Preference During the Early School Years: Mediation by Maternal Warmth and Child Emotion Regulation

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 3/2011
Chi-Ming Kam, Mark T. Greenberg, Karen L. Bierman, John D. Coie, Kenneth A. Dodge, Michael E. Foster, John E. Lochman, Robert J. McMahon, Ellen E. Pinderhughes, Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group
Belangrijke opmerkingen
This work was supported by National Institute of Mental Health grants R18MH48083, R18MH50951, R18MH50952, and R18MH50953. The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Department of Education, and National Institute for Drug Abuse also provided support to Fast Track through a memorandum of support with the NIMH. Support has also come from the Department of Education grant S184430002 and NIMH grants K05MH00797 and K05MH01027. Appreciation is expressed to the parents, teachers, students and school district personnel who supported this research in the Durham, Nashville, central Pennsylvania, and Seattle area.


This longitudinal study examined processes that mediate the association between maternal depressive symptoms and peer social preference during the early school years. Three hundred and fifty six kindergarten children (182 boys) and their mothers participated in the study. During kindergarten, mothers reported their level of depressive symptomatology. In first grade, teachers rated children’s emotion regulation at school and observers rated the affective quality of mother-child interactions. During second grade, children’s social preference was assessed by peer nomination. Results indicated that mothers’ level of depressive symptomatology negatively predicted their child’s social preference 2 years later, controlling for the family SES and teacher-rated social preference during kindergarten. Among European American families, the association between maternal depressive symptoms and social preference was partially mediated by maternal warmth and the child’s emotion regulation. Although the relation between maternal depressive symptoms and children peer preference was stronger among African American families than Europrean American families, its mediation by the maternal warmth and child’s emotion regulation was not found in African American families.

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