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Direct Associations between Early Childhood Paternal Depression and School-Age Psychosocial and Academic Functioning, and the Potential Mediating Role of Father-Child Interaction

Feldman, Julia (2019) Direct Associations between Early Childhood Paternal Depression and School-Age Psychosocial and Academic Functioning, and the Potential Mediating Role of Father-Child Interaction. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The present study used a longitudinal design to test father-child interaction quality in the preschool period as a mediator between paternal depressive symptoms in toddlerhood and both academic and socioemotional maladjustment during the school-age period (n = 117, 52% female). Further, it aimed to assess child gender and maternal depressive symptoms as moderators of direct associations between paternal depressive symptoms and later child maladjustment. The sample represented a subsample of families from the Early Steps Multisite Study, which is a clinical trial testing the effectiveness of the Family Check-Up among a sample of 731, low-income, ethnically-diverse families using Women, Infants, and Children Nutritional Supplement Services in three communities varied in urbanicity. Direct relations were not found between paternal depressive symptoms (age 2), observations of father-child interactions (age 3), and children’s school-age academic abilities on a standardized assessment (ages 7.5 and 8.5) and mother- and teacher-reported socioemotional maladjustment (ages 8.5 and 9.5). Further, there was no evidence for an indirect pathway from early paternal depressive symptoms to children’s school-age outcomes via negative father-child interactions. However, child gender was found to moderate relations between paternal depressive symptoms and children’s school-age internalizing symptoms as reported by mothers, such that this association was stronger for boys than girls. These findings have important implications for future research on preventing low-income boys’ school-age internalizing problems at home, suggesting that decreasing paternal depressive symptoms at age 2 may be an important intervention target to explore.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Feldman, Juliajulia.feldman@pitt.edujsf54
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairShaw, Daniel S.casey@pitt.educasey
Committee MemberCampbell, Susan B.sbcamp@pitt.edusbcamp
Committee MemberSilk, Jenniferjss4@pitt.edujss4
Date: 20 September 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 5 April 2019
Approval Date: 20 September 2019
Submission Date: 6 May 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 59
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: father, father-child, depression, parenting, internalizing, externalizing, academic, longitudinal
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2019 18:39
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2019 18:39


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