Emotion socialization (ES) is the way in which influential individuals in a child or adolescent’s
life react to, discuss, and express emotions, which in turn influences the child’s own emotional
responses and expression. Supportive positive emotion socialization (PES) beneficially affects
cognitive functioning, well-being, and the ability to cope with various stressors and adversity.
For parents, the occurrence of depression can negatively impact parenting patterns which can
lead to child maladjustment and increased levels of psychopathology later in the child’s life.
Based on these consideration, I predicted that greater PES could act as a protective factor for
children of parents with depression. This archival study aimed to analyze whether children of
mothers with unipolar and bipolar depression perceived different levels of PES from their
mothers compared to children of control mothers. Additionally, the study longitudinally assessed
whether children who had perceived greater levels of PES would exhibit less psychopathology
and greater well-being at later time points compared to children who had perceived lower PES.
After multiple analyses, these hypotheses were not supported. However, further research needs
to be conducted on this topic using different measures and a more environmentally inclusive lens
in order to obtain a more comprehensive view of the relationship between maternal depression
and PES, which could ultimately lead to better outcomes for children of mothers with unipolar
and bipolar depression.
This study was funded primarily by the National Institutes of Health. The NIMH protocol number for this study is 1 Z01MH002491 DEVELOPMENT OF OFFSPRING OF AFFECTIVELY ILL AND WELL PARENTS (RADKE-YARROW, PI AND GOLD, PI), which was also previously referred to as the "Childrearing Study." The authors wish to acknowledge the significant contributions of Anne Mayfield and the many research investigators, staff trainees, and research assistants who made such an effort possible. We also express our deep appreciation to the parent participants and their children who volunteered repeatedly over a 15-year period.
Krueger, Alyssa M.
Associations and Outcomes of Positive Emotion Socialization in the Children of Mothers with Unipolar and Bipolar Depression.
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