Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Department of Psychological Science

Thesis Type

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Jamie Abaied

Second Advisor

Timothy Stickle

Third Advisor

Kathy Fox


parent depression, child depression, autonomy support, psychological control, parenting, mediation


Research indicates that parental depressive symptoms have significant implications for child depressive symptoms. However, little is known about parenting styles as a possible mediator of the link between parental and child depressive symptoms. This study examined the links between parental depressive symptoms, parenting behaviors including autonomy support and psychological control, and child depressive symptoms. Data was collected from 64 8-10 year olds via questionnaires administered at the Family Development Lab at the University of Vermont. High levels of autonomy support were found to predict lower levels of child depressive symptoms, and high levels of psychological control were found to predict higher levels of child depressive symptoms. No significant associations were found between parental depressive symptoms and child depressive symptoms, autonomy support, or psychological control. The results suggest that granting a child autonomy is one way to prevent them from developing depressive symptoms, whereas psychological control may enhance risk for depressive symptoms.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.