Mothers' mental games increase depressive symptoms in daughters

November 24, 2008

Chicago, IL - November 24, 2008 - A new study in the journal Family Relations examined the effects of a mother's psychological control on the risk for depression of African American adolescents. Researchers found that girls whose mothers played mental games with them like making them feel guilty or withdrawing expressions of love reported much higher levels of depressive symptoms and lower levels of personal agency.

Psychological control did not affect the psychological well-being of boys.

Jelani Mandara and Crysta L. Pikes examined a sample of 152 African American students in the ninth through twelfth grade at a high school in a large Midwestern city. The sample consisted of 102 females and 50 males. Researchers assessed the degree to which maternal psychological control had an effect on depressive symptoms.

Mandara and Pikes suggested that, "The key for practitioners will be to impress upon parents the need to find a balance between psychological autonomy and behavioral regulation at each stage of their children's development."
-end-
This study is published in the December 2008 issue of Family Relations. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact journalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

Jelani Mandara is affiliated with Northwestern University and can be reached for questions at j-mandara@northwestern.edu.

A premier, applied journal of family studies, Family Relations is mandatory reading for family scholars and all professionals who work with families, including: family practitioners, educators, marriage and family therapists, researchers, and social policy specialists. The journal's content emphasizes family research with implications for intervention, education, and public policy, always publishing original, innovative and interdisciplinary works with specific recommendations for practice.

Wiley-Blackwell was formed in February 2007 as a result of the acquisition of Blackwell Publishing Ltd. by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and its merger with Wiley's Scientific, Technical, and Medical business. Together, the companies have created a global publishing business with deep strength in every major academic and professional field. Wiley-Blackwell publishes approximately 1,400 scholarly peer-reviewed journals and an extensive collection of books with global appeal. For more information on Wiley-Blackwell, please visit www.wiley-blackwell.com or http://interscience.wiley.com.

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