Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. Rex Forehand

Project Collaborators

Alexandra Sullivan (Graduate Student Mentor)

Secondary Mentor NetID

asulliv5

Secondary Mentor Name

Alexandra Sullivan

Graduate Student Mentors

Alexandra Sullivan

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Psychological Science

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

Presentation Title

The Moderating Role of Parental Depression on the Relationship between Child Hostility and Family Functioning

Time

2:50 PM

Location

Frank Livak Ballroom

Abstract

Abstract

Research documents a strong association between child hostility and prospective poor child outcomes (e.g., child antisocial behaviors, such as hitting and yelling; Liu, 2004), as well as poor family outcomes (e.g., family dysfunction, such as ineffective interfamilial communication; Roberts et al., 2018). Extant literature also emphasizes the significance of parent depression in promoting increased family conflict (Fear et al., 2009). However, effects of child hostility in the context of parent depression are much less understood and may be associated with higher levels of family dysfunction (Cummings et al., 2002; Morgan et al., 2002). The current study thus aims to assess the relationship between observed child hostility, child-reported family dysfunction, and parent depression, measured using the Iowa Family Interaction Rating Scale (IFIRS; Melby et al., 1998), Family Assessment Device (FAD; Epstein et al., 1983), and Beck Depression Inventory–II (BDI–II; Beck, Steer, Brown, 1996), respectively. I hypothesize that: 1) child hostility will be negatively associated with family functioning, and 2) high levels of parent depression will be associated with a stronger relationship between child hostility and family dysfunction, whereas low levels of parental depression will be associated with a weaker relationship. Results supported study hypotheses, indicating that child hostility and family dysfunction are moderately and positively correlated (p = .04), and the moderating role of parent depression is borderline significant (p <.10), such that as levels of parent depression increase, levels of family functioning are overall higher than when levels of parent depression are lower. Findings further support extant literature, indicating child hostility is related to dysfunctional family environments, and that high levels of parent depression may exacerbate this relationship. Findings from this study inform new methods of family intervention and prevention, as well as ways of identifying families most at risk for dysfunction.

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The Moderating Role of Parental Depression on the Relationship between Child Hostility and Family Functioning

Abstract

Research documents a strong association between child hostility and prospective poor child outcomes (e.g., child antisocial behaviors, such as hitting and yelling; Liu, 2004), as well as poor family outcomes (e.g., family dysfunction, such as ineffective interfamilial communication; Roberts et al., 2018). Extant literature also emphasizes the significance of parent depression in promoting increased family conflict (Fear et al., 2009). However, effects of child hostility in the context of parent depression are much less understood and may be associated with higher levels of family dysfunction (Cummings et al., 2002; Morgan et al., 2002). The current study thus aims to assess the relationship between observed child hostility, child-reported family dysfunction, and parent depression, measured using the Iowa Family Interaction Rating Scale (IFIRS; Melby et al., 1998), Family Assessment Device (FAD; Epstein et al., 1983), and Beck Depression Inventory–II (BDI–II; Beck, Steer, Brown, 1996), respectively. I hypothesize that: 1) child hostility will be negatively associated with family functioning, and 2) high levels of parent depression will be associated with a stronger relationship between child hostility and family dysfunction, whereas low levels of parental depression will be associated with a weaker relationship. Results supported study hypotheses, indicating that child hostility and family dysfunction are moderately and positively correlated (p = .04), and the moderating role of parent depression is borderline significant (p <.10), such that as levels of parent depression increase, levels of family functioning are overall higher than when levels of parent depression are lower. Findings further support extant literature, indicating child hostility is related to dysfunctional family environments, and that high levels of parent depression may exacerbate this relationship. Findings from this study inform new methods of family intervention and prevention, as well as ways of identifying families most at risk for dysfunction.