02-02-2022 | Original Paper
Perceived Parenting History and Current Parenting Attitudes: Examining Maternal Stress and Depression as Mediators
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Child and Family Studies | Uitgave 7/2022Log in om toegang te krijgen
Patterns of parenting behaviors tend to persist across generations, but less is known about the associations between mothers’ perceived histories of parenting and their current parenting attitudes. The present study examined stress and depression as potential mechanisms through which mothers’ perceived histories of maternal and paternal support and psychological control may be associated with their current parenting self-efficacy and satisfaction. Participants were 192 mothers of infants who participated in early home visiting services. Participants reported on their mothers’ and fathers’ use of support and psychological control during childhood, as well as their own current levels of stress and depression. Two months later, participants completed questionnaires assessing their parenting self-efficacy and satisfaction. Results indicated both direct and indirect associations between mothers’ perceived histories of parenting and their current parenting attitudes. Mothers’ perceptions of maternal support predicted higher parenting self-efficacy, and their perceptions of paternal psychological control predicted lower parenting satisfaction. Mothers’ experiences of depression fully mediated the associations between their perceptions of both maternal and paternal psychological control and their parenting satisfaction. Additionally, mothers’ experiences of stress and depression fully mediated the association between their perceptions of paternal psychological control and their parenting self-efficacy. Our findings highlight stress and depression as potential underlying mechanisms in the association between mothers’ early parenting experiences and their current parenting attitudes. Preventive interventions targeting parenting behaviors during childhood and mothers’ emotional experiences during their transition to parenthood may promote more positive parenting attitudes.