Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Forehand, Rex


This study was designed to increase our understanding of remitted major depressive disorder among parents and how it relates to child externalizing problems. Specifically, various facets that may differentiate one remitted clinical depressive presentation from another were investigated: past depression severity, past depression chronicity, and residual or current levels of depressive symptoms. Relations of these characteristics of parent depression with youth externalizing symptomatology, as well as the mediating role of negative parenting, were studied among 118 parent-child dyads across two sites. Specifically, three hypotheses were tested: (1) all three indicators of parental depression would have a significant relationship with adolescent externalizing problems when examined individually; (2) when examined simultaneously, past depression chronicity and current depressive symptoms, but not past depression severity, would each have a unique association with young adolescent externalizing outcomes; and (3) negative parenting would partially mediate the relationship of each of the three indicators (i.e., current parental symptoms, past depression chronicity, past depression severity) with child externalizing behavior. Results revealed that residual parent depressive symptoms were most salient in their association with youth externalizing behavior. Further, negative parenting mediated this relationship for parent, but not child, report of child problem behavior. Findings highlight the importance of further research to investigate remitted clinical depression in parent populations, and the impact on child behavioral adjustment. As well, implications for preventive and other intervention efforts are considered.