Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Human Development and Family Studies

Major

Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Tricia K. Neppl

Second Advisor

Janet N. Melby

Abstract

This dissertation encompasses two studies that examine the continuity of depressive symptoms across generations and the stability of depressive symptoms within generations across time among a sample of rural American families experiencing the agricultural economic downturn in the 1980s. In the first study, the Family Stress Model (FSM) was utilized to examine the effects of economic pressure on G1 maternal depressive symptoms, G1 mother hostility toward G1 father, G1 mother harsh parenting during G2 adolescence, and G2 depressive symptoms in adulthood. Findings were in support of the FSM in that economic pressure predicted G1 maternal depressive symptoms, which was associated with G1 mother hostility G1 father, that in turn predicted G1 mother harsh parenting during G2 adolescence, and G1 mother harsh parenting was associated with G2 depressive symptoms in adulthood. In the second study, the stability of and reciprocal association between depressive symptoms and couple conflict was assessed across time among a sample of married or cohabiting romantic partners. In addition, the moderating role of emotional support was examined. Contrary to expectations, the reciprocal association between depressive symptoms and couple conflict within and across time points was not supported. Moreover, the interaction between depressive symptoms and emotional support, and the interaction between couple conflict was not significant. However, the results did support stability of depressive symptoms and couple conflict across time, as well as an association between emotional support and couple conflict. These findings provide insight to the specific mechanisms of couple conflict, harsh parenting, and emotional support through which depressive symptoms are sustained.

Copyright Owner

Shane Kavanaugh

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

108 pages

Included in

Psychology Commons

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