Parenting Style as a Moderator between Maternal Trauma Symptoms and Child Psychological Distress
Leslie, Leigh A
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Current research suggests parents who experience symptoms of trauma transfer distress to their children. The purpose of this study was to understand the possible moderating effect of mothers' parenting style on this relationship. The level of maternal trauma, use of parenting styles, and child psychological distress was examined for a clinical sample (n=113) of mother and child dyads. Results indicated that mothers who experience high levels of trauma symptoms are more likely to parent using authoritarian or permissive behaviors. Mothers experiencing high levels of trauma symptoms who parent with a high use of authoritarian behaviors have children who experience more depression than those whose mothers use fewer authoritarian behaviors. However, mothers experiencing high levels of trauma symptoms who parent with a high use of permissive behaviors have children who experience less depression than those whose mothers use fewer permissive behaviors. The empirical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.