THE MEDIATING ROLE OF PARENTING BEHAVIOR IN THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN PARENTAL AND CHILD PSYCHOLOGICAL FUNCTIONING
Epstein, Norman B
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The aim of the present study was to broaden the investigation of the intergenerational association of psychological functioning by examining the role of parenting behavior (harsh parenting and parental acceptance) as a mediating factor in the association between maternal and youth psychological functioning (i.e., severity of anxiety and depression symptoms). Measures of psychological distress, harsh parenting, and parental acceptance were administered to a community sample of 309 Latino youth (ages 9-15) and their mothers. Results from a path analysis, controlling for monthly family income, mother’s age at baseline assessment, and the number of children in the household, showed support for the mediating role of parental acceptance but not harsh parenting in the association between parent and youth psychological functioning. However, harsh parenting had an indirect association with child psychological distress, mediated by lower child perceptions of parental acceptance. Implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed.