Maternal Emotion Coaching and Depressive Symptoms and Children's Problem Behaviors
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Human Sciences Honors Theses; 2014
The emotion socialization strategies that mothers use with their children impact children’s adjustment outcomes, such as internalizing and externalizing behavior problems. Maternal emotion socialization strategies may be particularly important for children of depressed mothers, as depressed mothers often show deficits in parenting and their children tend to have elevated behavior problems. The present study examined how maternal emotion coaching and depressive symptoms were associated with children’s internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, and whether mothers’ emotion coaching served as a protective factor for children of depressed mothers. During a laboratory visit, mothers (N = 77) engaged their three-year-old child in conversation about past events that made the child sad, angry and scared. Maternal emotion coaching strategies were coded based on mothers’ awareness and acceptance of children’s emotion, as well as their facilitation of children’s elaboration and problem solving strategies. Children’s internalizing and externalizing problems were assessed using mothers’ report on the Child Behavior Checklist, while mothers’ depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Regression analyses show that maternal emotion coaching interacted with maternal depressive symptoms in predicting child problem behaviors. Mothers’ emotion coaching strategies significantly moderated the association between maternal depressive symptoms and children’s externalizing behaviors. The results of this study suggest that emotion coaching serves as a protective factor for children’s negative social and behavioral outcomes associated with maternal depressive symptoms.
Academic Major: Human Development and Family Science
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