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Mothers' and Fathers' Ratings of Family Relationship Quality: Associations with Preadolescent and Adolescent Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms in a Clinical Sample.

Publication Year: 
Personal Author: 
Queen, Alexander.
Stewart, Lindsay.
Ehrenreich-May, Jill.
Pincus, Donna.
Journal Article
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This study examined the independent associations among three family relationship quality factors--cohesion, expressiveness, and conflict--with youth self-reported depressive and anxiety symptoms in a clinical sample of anxious and depressed youth. Ratings of family relationship quality were obtained through both mother and father report. The sample included families of 147 preadolescents and adolescents (56.6 % female; 89.8 % Caucasian), 11-18 years old (M = 13.64, SD = 1.98) assigned a principal diagnosis of an anxiety or depressive disorder. When controlling for age and concurrent anxiety symptoms, regression analyses revealed that for boys, both father- and mother-rated family cohesion predicted depressive symptoms. For girls, mother-rated family expressiveness and conflict predicted depressive symptoms. Youth anxiety symptoms were not significantly associated with any family relationship variables, controlling for concurrent depressive symptoms. Findings suggest that parent-rated family relationship factors may be more related to youth depressive than anxiety symptoms in this clinical sample. In addition, family cohesion, as perceived by parents, may be more related to boys' depression, whereas expressiveness and conflict (as rated by mothers) may be more related to girls' depression. Clinical implications and recommendations for future research are discussed. (Author abstract)