The Relationship Between Maternal and Paternal Psychological Symptoms and Ratings of Adolescent Functioning

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Mothers, Fathers, Adolescent, Depression, Anxiety, Behavior problems

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Families with an adolescent between the ages of 11 and 18 years participated in a study examining the relationship between parental depressive and anxiety symptomatology and parental ratings of adolescents’ functioning. This study indicated that mothers, fathers, and adolescents exhibited significant cross-informant correspondence (i.e. correlations) and very few significant differences in ratings of adolescents’ functioning. After controlling for demographic variables and the ratings of other informants, mothers’ depressive symptomatology was a significant predictor of mothers’ ratings of adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing behavior problems and competence. With regard to fathers’ ratings, fathers’ depressive symptomatology was a significant predictor of adolescents’ internalizing behavior problems and competence, whereas fathers’ depressive and anxious symptomatology was a significant predictor of adolescents’ externalizing behavior problems. The findings of this study suggested the importance of considering maternal and paternal depressive symptomatology when parents are asked to provide ratings of their adolescents’ functioning.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Adolescence, v. 30, issue 3, p. 467-485