Jackson Goodnight, Ph.D.
This study examines the development of internalizing and externalizing behaviors in offspring raised by mothers with depression. Specifically, it explores mediating variables that explain differential associations of maternal depression with the offspring outcomes of internalizing problems and externalizing problems. Previous research has established that there is an association between maternal depression and the development of emotional and depressive (internalizing) behaviors as well as delinquency and antisocial (externalizing) behaviors in children. This study evaluates factors such as family instability, parental patterns and behaviors, and mother-offspring relationships in order to better understand the intervening processes that explain the link from maternal depression to childhood internalizing and externalizing problems. This study does so by using bi-generational data from the United States Department of Labor National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which collected data from 1979 to 2014. It is important to understand the environmental factors that may affect a child’s mental health in order to educate families and to know which resources would be beneficial for a child in these circumstances to avoid adverse effects and continue to thrive.
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Jackson, Hannah, "Differences in the Development of Internalizing and Externalizing Behaviors in Offspring of Depressed Mothers" (2018). Honors Theses. 162.