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Protective Factors for Depression among African American Children of Predominantly Low-Income Mothers with Depression

Protective Factors for Depression among African American Children of Predominantly Low-Income Mothers with Depression

Journal of Child and Family Studies 22(1): 85-95

Maternal depression has a deleterious impact on child psychological outcomes, including depression symptoms. However, there is limited research on the protective factors for these children and even less for African Americans. The purpose of the study is to examine the effects of positive parenting skills on child depression and the potential protective effects of social skills and kinship support among African American children whose mothers are depressed and low-income. African American mothers (n = 77) with a past year diagnosis of a depressive disorder and one of their children (ages 8-14) completed self-report measures of positive parenting skills, social skills, kinship support, and depression in a cross-sectional design. Regression analyses demonstrated that there was a significant interaction effect of positive parenting skills and child social skills on child depression symptoms. Specifically, parent report of child social skills was negatively associated with child depression symptoms for children exposed to poorer parenting skills; however, this association was not significant for children exposed to more positive and involved parenting. Kinship support did not show a moderating effect, although greater maternal depression severity was correlated with more child-reported kinship support. The study findings have implications for developing interventions for families with maternal depression. In particular, parenting and child social skills are potential areas for intervention to prevent depression among African American youth.

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Accession: 055244604

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PMID: 25324678

DOI: 10.1007/s10826-012-9588-y

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