Parenting Self-Efficacy Mediates the Association between Chinese Parents’ Depression Symptoms and their Young Children’s Social and Emotional Competence

Zhenqiao Yang, Natalie A. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated the mediating role of parenting self-efficacy in the relationship between Chinese parents’ depressive symptoms and their young children’s social and emotional competence and tested whether the mediating relationship differed for fathers and mothers. Parents (N = 250) of children aged 3-to-8 years old in the eastern coastal region of China completed a cross-sectional survey. Questionnaires assessed parental depressive symptoms, parenting self-efficacy, and children’s social and emotional competence. Research questions were tested using mediation and moderated mediation within a multiple regression framework. Results supported a significant indirect effect of parental depressive symptoms on young children’s social and emotional competence through parenting self-efficacy, indicating that parenting self-efficacy served as a mediator. The mediational process did not differ for mothers and fathers. Parenting self-efficacy appears to be a mechanism in explaining the influence of parental depression on young children’s social and emotional development in a Chinese sample. Findings suggest that interventions with depressed parents should seek to improve parenting self-efficacy to support young children’s healthy development in the context of parental depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1261-1274
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • Child social and emotional competence
  • China
  • Mediation
  • Moderation
  • Parental depression
  • Parenting self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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