Mother–child versus father–child conflict and emerging adults’ depressive symptoms: The role of trust in parents and maladaptive emotion regulation

Qiyan OUYANG, Yuen Man Rebecca CHEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study tested the mediating role of maladaptive emotion regulation and trust in parents between parent–child conflict and emerging adults’ depressive symptoms. A total of 196 Chinese emerging adults at 18–25 years of age (M = 20.02; SD = 2.67; 43.88% women) completed an online self-reported questionnaire on parent–child conflict, trust in parents, emotion regulation, and depressive symptoms. Path analyses were conducted to analyze the cross-sectional data. Findings suggested that parent–child conflict was associated with greater maladaptive emotion regulation and depressive symptoms. Mother–child conflict was associated with emerging adults’ lower trust in mothers. Also, trust in fathers was associated with fewer depressive symptoms. Regardless of the parents’ gender, maladaptive emotion regulation and trust did not mediate the relation between parent–child conflict and depressive symptoms. Despite the null findings of the mediation processes, the study advanced our knowledge about the role of family processes in emerging adults’ depressive symptoms, particularly in the Chinese context. The findings informed practitioners and researchers aiming to foster positive family functioning and reduce depressive symptoms among emerging adults. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-215
JournalJournal of Adult Development
Volume30
Early online date25 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Citation

Ouyang, Q., & Cheung, R. Y. M. (2023). Mother–child versus father–child conflict and emerging adults’ depressive symptoms: The role of trust in parents and maladaptive emotion regulation. Journal of Adult Development, 30, 205-215. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10804-022-09425-4

Keywords

  • Parent–child conflict
  • Emotion regulation
  • Emerging adults
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Trust in parents
  • Parents’ gender

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