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Partial reports of these data were presented at the 2010 Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual meeting and the 2010 Midwestern Psychological Association annual meeting.
We proposed that exposure to parental depressive symptomatology as measured by adult children’s retrospective reports would predict children’s own levels of causal uncertainty or doubt in their ability to understand causal relations in the social world. Such social confusion could, in turn, contribute to children’s current depressive symptomatology. Across four studies, as predicted, causal uncertainty partially mediated the relationship between perceived parental dysphoria and offspring’s own current dysphoria. In Study 1c, higher levels of parental attachment moderated the mediational effects of causal uncertainty on the relationship between perceived parental dysphoria and offspring dysphoria, but moderated mediation was not replicated in Study 1d when perceived parental dysphoria was assessed in a separate session. Future research should try to reconcile the inconsistent results for parental attachment and more directly test the intergenerational transmission of dysphoria via causal uncertainty.
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- The Role of Causal Uncertainty in the Relationship Between Perceived Parental Dysphoria and Offspring’s Own Dysphoria
Jill A. Jacobson
- Springer US