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12-03-2021 | Original Paper | Uitgave 5/2021

Journal of Child and Family Studies 5/2021

Parenting Self-Efficacy Mediates the Association between Chinese Parents’ Depression Symptoms and their Young Children’s Social and Emotional Competence

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 5/2021
Auteurs:
Zhenqiao Yang, Natalie A. Williams
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Supplementary information

The online version contains supplementary material available at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10826-021-01930-6.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

This study investigated the mediating role of parenting self-efficacy in the relationship between Chinese parents’ depressive symptoms and their young children’s social and emotional competence and tested whether the mediating relationship differed for fathers and mothers. Parents (N = 250) of children aged 3-to-8 years old in the eastern coastal region of China completed a cross-sectional survey. Questionnaires assessed parental depressive symptoms, parenting self-efficacy, and children’s social and emotional competence. Research questions were tested using mediation and moderated mediation within a multiple regression framework. Results supported a significant indirect effect of parental depressive symptoms on young children’s social and emotional competence through parenting self-efficacy, indicating that parenting self-efficacy served as a mediator. The mediational process did not differ for mothers and fathers. Parenting self-efficacy appears to be a mechanism in explaining the influence of parental depression on young children’s social and emotional development in a Chinese sample. Findings suggest that interventions with depressed parents should seek to improve parenting self-efficacy to support young children’s healthy development in the context of parental depression.

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