Intergenerational continuity in high conflict family environments: Investigating a mediating depressive pathway Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Rothenberg, Drew
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Experiencing family conflict is associated with numerous deleterious outcomes across ontogeny, including increases in externalizing and internalizing behavior and impairments in social functioning. Emerging evidence suggests that family conflict shows continuity across generations and that intergenerational family conflict can be more intense and deleterious than conflict experienced in a single generation. However, few investigations have identified etiological mechanisms by which family conflict is perpetuated across generations. Nor have many investigations examined for whom, or under what circumstances, family conflict persists over generations. Addressing these limitations, the current study examined whether G2 depressive symptoms measured at multiple time points across development explained continuity in family conflict from one generation to the next. Results revealed that depressive symptoms served as mediators of intergenerational family conflict in both men and women, but in different ways. Specifically, G2 women's adolescence and young adulthood each represented periods of vulnerability in which G2 depressive symptoms were especially likely to mediate intergenerational continuity in family conflict. Additionally, in both men and women, higher G1-G2 family conflict was associated with higher depressive symptoms that persisted from adolescence into young adulthood and then subsequently predicted the development of G2-G3 family conflict. Results did not support the hypothesis that G2 partner depressive symptoms moderated the relation between G2 depressive symptoms and G2-G3 family conflict. Implications of findings regarding the roles that G2 gender and G2 depressive symptoms play in the transmission of family conflict from one generation to the next are discussed.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Hussong, Andrea
  • Bauer, Daniel
  • Youngstrom, Jennifer
  • Jones, Deborah
  • Youngstrom, Eric
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2018

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