Published: Katherine Marçal

Katherine E. Marcal (Social Work) published an article, "Pathways to Adolescent Emotional and Behavioral Problems: An Examination of Maternal Depression and Harsh Parenting," in Child Abuse & Neglect. The study leveraged a large, longitudinal survey of families across the U.S. to investigate whether harsh parenting mediated the links between maternal depression and adolescent delinquency and depression. Structural equation modeling with latent variables estimated a measurement model using confirmatory factor analysis and a structural model testing direct and indirect pathways. Maternal depression was directly associated with both physical and psychological aggression in parenting (β = 0.08, p < 0.001 and β = 0.12, p < 0.001, respectively), and psychological aggression related directly with adolescent delinquency (β = 0.24, p < 0.01). Furthermore, maternal depression was indirectly associated with adolescent delinquency via psychological aggression in parenting (β = 0.03, p < 0.05). Findings provide insights into the parent-level drivers of adolescent emotional and behavioral outcomes. Screening for maternal depression and providing parenting support to vulnerable families offers promise for preventing adverse parenting and supporting healthy adolescent development.

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