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23-02-2021 | Original Paper | Uitgave 4/2021

Journal of Child and Family Studies 4/2021

Parent-Child Relationship Satisfaction and Psychological Distress of Parents and Emerging Adult Children

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 4/2021
Auteurs:
Peipei Hong, Ming Cui, Thomas Ledermann, Hayley Love
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Abstract

This study examined the associations between parent-child relationship satisfaction and psychological distress among emerging adult children and their parents. It also investigated whether these associations varied across ethnic groups. Based on related theories and research, we hypothesized negative “actor” and “partner” associations between parent-child relationship satisfaction and psychological distress among both the parents and emerging adult children, with a stronger “actor” association among parents. We also hypothesized that the negative “actor” association between emerging adult children’s relationship satisfaction with their parents and their own psychological distress would be stronger among Hispanic emerging adult children than among their non-Hispanic peers. The sample included 183 non-Hispanic and Hispanic parent-emerging adult child dyads. Emerging adult children were recruited from two large universities in the U.S. Both the emerging adult children and their primary parents were invited to participate in an online survey and reported their parent-child relationship satisfaction, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and demographics. Results from Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) revealed a significant association between parents’ relationship satisfaction with their emerging adult children and their own psychological distress (“actor effect” for parents). Further, a moderating effect by ethnicity was found such that the association between emerging adult children’s relationship satisfaction with their parents and their own psychological distress was stronger among Hispanic emerging adult children than among their non-Hispanic peers (stronger “actor effect” for Hispanic emerging adult children). These findings have important implications for researchers and practitioners regarding intergenerational relationships and ethnic/cultural differences.

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