African American and Euro-American Mother-Child Communication within the Context of Maternal Depressive Symptoms
Royster, Quela Nile
Past research has shown that depressive symptoms and race/ethnicity separately impact parenting behaviors, although the latter is often confounded with other contextual variables. This study examined the association of depressive symptoms and race/ethnicity with the parenting behaviors of African American and Euro-American mothers while controlling for demographic variables. Mother-child dyads were recorded discussing recent peer stressors and mothers’ verbal and nonverbal behaviors and emotions were coded using the Iowa Family Interaction Rating Scales (IFIRS). Maternal depressive symptoms did not significantly predict any of the parenting behaviors. African American mothers were significantly higher in structure, authoritarian parenting, and psychological control, significantly lower in engagement, and similar to Euro-American mothers in warmth and overall communication. However, race/ethnicity only significantly predicted structure and authoritarian parenting. Implications for parenting style research and familial depression preventions are discussed.