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Parental Criticism and Adolescent Depression: Does Adolescent Self-Evaluation Act as a Mediator?

  • Catherine Bolton (a1), Christine Barrowclough (a2) and Rachel Calam (a2)

Abstract

Background: A better understanding of relationships between adolescent depression and family functioning may help in devising ways to prevent development of depression and design effective therapeutic interventions. Aims: This study explored the relationship of parental emotional attitudes, (perceived criticism and expressed emotion) to adolescent self-evaluation and depression. Methods: A sample of 28 clinic-referred adolescents and their mothers participated. The Five Minute Speech Sample was used to measure parental expressed emotion, and the adolescents completed the Children's Depression Inventory, Self-Perception Profile for Children global self-worth scale, a self-criticism scale and a perceived parental criticism scale. Results: There was partial support for a model of adolescent negative self-evaluation as a mediator in the relationship between parental emotional attitudes and adolescent depressive symptoms. The data also supported an alternative hypothesis whereby adolescent depressive symptoms are related to negative self-evaluation. Conclusions: The overall pattern of results emphasizes the significance of adolescents' perceptions of parental criticism, rather than actual levels, in understanding the relationship between parental emotional attitudes and adolescent depressive symptoms.

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Corresponding author

Reprint requests to Rachel Calam, University of Manchester, School of Psychological Sciences, Zochonis Building, Brunswick Street, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. E-mail: rachel.calam@manchester.ac.uk

References

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Parental Criticism and Adolescent Depression: Does Adolescent Self-Evaluation Act as a Mediator?

  • Catherine Bolton (a1), Christine Barrowclough (a2) and Rachel Calam (a2)

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Parental Criticism and Adolescent Depression: Does Adolescent Self-Evaluation Act as a Mediator?

  • Catherine Bolton (a1), Christine Barrowclough (a2) and Rachel Calam (a2)
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