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Intergenerational continuity in depressive symptoms and substance use between father and child: the role of warmth




Fulco, Celia J., author
Rickard, Kathryn, advisor
Henry, Kimberly, committee member
Davalos, Deana, committee member
Yuma, Paula, committee member

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Continuity of adolescent substance use and depression across generations has been established and confirmed empirically, yet our understanding of the key drivers of intergenerational continuity remains limited. The present study tested the notion that father-child warmth, a factor closely tied to attachment security and child psychosocial development, may mediate the relationship between a father's own experiences with substance use and/or depression and the development of these problems in his child's adolescence. This path analysis examined two key intergenerational patterns: the intergenerational quality of parent-child warmth, and the intergenerational continuity of depressive symptoms and substance use between fathers and their adolescent children. Results showed that G2 adolescent experience of caregiver warmth was a strong predictor of depressive symptoms and substance use across developmental stages. In the case of G2 adolescence, both the child and parent reports of warmth served as significant predictors, with some variability. Second, while father-child warmth across the G1-G2 and G2-G3 generations were correlated, parental warmth did not demonstrate strong intergenerational continuity. Third, depressive symptoms negatively impacted paternal report of G2 (adult) warmth, while paternal substance use had a marginally significant association with both father and child report of warmth. Fourth, G3 adolescent report of both caregivers' warmth significantly predicted adolescent depressive symptoms, whereas only G3-reported OCG warmth predicted G3 adolescent substance use. Other nuances in the results, relating to covariates and the differences between maternal and paternal behavior and psychopathology, were also discussed. The study's limitations, implications, and future directions were further outlined and explored.


2021 Summer.
Includes bibliographical references.

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