Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Patterns of Parent-Child Relationship Quality, Parent Depression and Adolescent Development Outcomes
by Kim, JaHun, Ph.D., University of Washington, 2011, 96; 3485591
Abstract (Summary)

Adolescent risky behavior and depression are a national health concern because this issue is associated with longer-term problem behaviors and unwanted consequences that carry into young adulthood. Parent-child relationship quality has been studied intensely for decades, yet there is little research on its distinct patterns over time, its predictors of and outcomes in child development, including high risk behavior, drug involvement, depression, and hopelessness. While substantial research has been conducted, more studies are needed to uncover factors that contribute to effective interventions to protect adolescents from chronic and detrimental outcomes.

The purpose of this dissertation, based on a resilience framework, is to describe patterns of parent-child relationship quality across adolescents and to examine the influences on adolescent development and to gain understanding of changes and stabilities of parent-child relationship in adolescence. How patterns are influenced by child and parent predictors and their subsequent impact on adolescent risky behaviors and psychological development reflective of resilience are studied. The present study, which includes measures of risk and protective factors, and subsequent developmental outcomes, generates new knowledge relevant to preventive interventions for at-risk youth and their parents.

The specific study aims are to: 1) describe patterns of parent-child relationship across time; 2) examine if adolescent characteristics and social contextual factors predict parent-child relationship trajectory membership; and 3) test for the effects of patterns of parent-child relationship on adolescent development and the moderating effect of parent depression on the association between parent-child relationship and developmental outcomes.

The analytic method, growth mixture modeling, is employed to address these aims. Growth mixture modeling is used to model classes of adolescents with similar patterns of parent-child relationship across time.

One class growth model was found in parent-child relationship support. Child gender, child baseline depression, parent depression, and parent education were significant predictors of parent-child relationship support. Parent-child relationship support was associated with child depression and hopelessness. On the other hand, three trajectories of parent-child relationship conflict were found: (1) low-increasing class, (2) high-decreasing class, and (3) low-stable class. Child and parent predictors were not associated with the trajectories of parent-child relationship conflict. However, being a member of the low-increasing conflict trajectories predicted high risk behavior, adolescent depression, and hopelessness.

Findings expand the understanding of parent-child relationship quality including the impact of selected risk and protective factors among at-risk adolescents. Intervention programs need to be similarly expanded in design to incorporate components, particularly, related to adolescent emotional adjustment, and strategies to enhance parent support and reduce parent-child conflict.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Thompson, Elaine A.
School: University of Washington
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: DAI-B 73/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Nursing, Developmental psychology
Keywords: Adolescents, Depression, Developmental outcomes, Parent-child conflict
Publication Number: 3485591
ISBN: 978-1-267-03308-6
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