Title page for ETD etd-11092006-163100

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Sherwood, Jennifer Kristina
URN etd-11092006-163100
Title Parental Depressed Mood, Psychological Control, and Adolescent Behavior Problems: Evidence of Mediation?
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Human Ecology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Robert Laird Committee Chair
Betsy Garrison Committee Member
Loren Marks Committee Member
  • parenting; depression; adolescence; psychological
Date of Defense 2006-11-01
Availability unrestricted
The objective of the current study was to examine parental psychological control as a mediator between parental depressed mood and adolescent behavior problems. The study involved a secondary analysis of the data from the Baton Rouge Families and Teens Project (BRFTP). Structured, in-home interviews were completed with 86 families. The sample was demographically and racially diverse; 59% of the adolescents were female, 58% were of a minority background, and 52% lived in a dual-parent home. The data was collected over 2 years, and included adolescents who, at the time of recruitment, were in the 6th, 7th, or 8th grade. Adolescents reported on psychological control and behavior problems; parents reported on psychological control and depressed mood.

The results of the study indicated that parental depressed mood was associated with more parent-reported intrusion. For the full sample, no associations were found between parental depressed mood and adolescent behavior problems. Adolescent-reported psychological control, adolescent-reported intrusion, and parent-reported intrusion were associated with more adolescent internalized behavior problems. Adolescent-reported psychological control was associated with more externalized behavior problems. The non-significant associations between parental depressed mood and adolescent behavior problems indicated that further tests for mediation were not warranted.

Mean-level differences and moderating effects were tested to determine if measures varied as a function of family contextual variables. The results indicated that parents of girls reported more depressed mood than parents of boys. Black adolescents as well as parents of Black adolescents report more use of intrusion than White adolescents and parents of White adolescents. Parents from low-income families report more intrusion than parents from high income families. Tests for moderation indicate that income may moderate the relation between parental depressed mood and adolescent-reported psychological control. Race may moderate the relation between parent depressed mood and adolescent internalized behavior problems. Finally, adolescent gender may moderate the relation between adolescent-reported psychological control and externalized behavior problems and adolescent-reported intrusion and externalized behavior problems.

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