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Maternal depressive symptoms and adolescent academic attainment: Testing pathways via parenting and self-control



Maternal depressive symptoms and adolescent academic attainment: Testing pathways via parenting and self-control



Journal of Adolescence 62: 61-69



Maternal depression is associated with reduced academic attainment in children, however, it is not clear how this association comes about. Depressive symptoms are associated with impairment in social roles including parenting. Children's self-control is an important contributor to academic attainment and is influenced by parenting. We therefore hypothesised that impaired parenting and children's self-control may mediate links between maternal depression and children's academic attainment. Data were from a brief longitudinal study (3 waves) of UK children aged 11-12 years and their mothers. Higher maternal depressive symptoms at baseline were associated with lower academic attainment in children assessed one year later. There was evidence to support an indirect effect of maternal depressive symptoms on children's academic attainment through the mother-child and the father-child relationship which, in turn, reduced children's self-control. These influences were independent of socio-economic deprivation. A direct effect of maternal depression on children's academic attainment was also observed.

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Accession: 059946777

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 29161606

DOI: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2017.11.003


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