Depression and Aggression in Family Interaction

By Gerald R. Patterson | Go to book overview

8

Maternal Depression, Marital Discord, and Children's Behavior: A Developmental Perspective

Hyman Hops Linda Sherman Anthony Biglan Oregon Research Institute


INTRODUCTION

There is no longer any doubt about the deleterious effects of maternal depression on children. What is now required is evidence of the mechanisms by which these effects are executed. This chapter develops several hypotheses about such mechanisms based on the integration of two parallel and somewhat overlapping literatures, clinical and developmental. Data from a study of the family interactions of depressed mothers and matched controls are presented to test these predictions.

Clinical studies increasingly show that the offspring of depressed mothers are at risk for a variety of problems, including depression. The combined clinical and developmental literatures suggest that older girls and younger boys may be most vulnerable and differentially affected. Depressive symptomatology is characterized primarily by feminine behaviors, with effects more evident around puberty. Thus, adolescent girls may be particularly at risk for the deleterious effects of depression in mothers. Among boys, conduct disorders account for the plurality of all psychiatric disorders ( Rutter, Tizard, Yule, Graham, & Whitmore , 1976), and boys emit higher rates of aggressive antisocial behavior than girls throughout childhood and adolescence ( Patterson, 1982; Wells & Forehand, 1985). However, antisocial behavior generally decreases with increasing age. Thus, we would expect younger boys in families with depressed mothers to be uniquely susceptible to such influences.

In a previous study ( Hops et al., 1987) we found that (a) compared to normal mothers, depressed mothers displayed higher rates of dysphoric affect and lower rates of happy affect, and (b) compared to children in normal families, those with

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Depression and Aggression in Family Interaction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface xi
  • References xiv
  • 1: The Family Research Consortium: At the Crest of a Major Wave? 1
  • 2: Developmental Epidemiological Framework for Family Research on Depression and Aggression 11
  • References 46
  • 3: Methodological Issues in the Study of Family Violence 49
  • Conclusion 70
  • Acknowledgments 71
  • References 72
  • 4: How Marriages Change 75
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 99
  • References 100
  • 5: A Contextual Approach to the Problem of Aversive Practices in Families 103
  • Conclusion 123
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 124
  • References 124
  • 6: Statistical Methods for Analyzing Family Interaction 131
  • Summary 165
  • Acknowledgments 165
  • References 166
  • 7: Family Environments of Depressed and Well Parents and Their Children: Issues of Research Methods 169
  • Conclusion 182
  • Acknowledgments 183
  • References 183
  • 8 - Maternal Depression, Marital Discord, and Children's Behavior: A Developmental Perspective 185
  • Acknowledgments 204
  • References 204
  • 9: Initiation and Maintenance of Process Disrupting Single- Mother Families 209
  • Acknowledgments 242
  • References 243
  • 10: Method Variance in Structural Equation Modeling: Living with "Glop" 247
  • References 276
  • 11: Reflections: A Conceptual Analysis and Synthesis 281
  • References 312
  • Author Index 315
  • Subject Index 325
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