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ERIC Number: ED494232
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: ISBN-0-9323-5926-4
Depression Among Moms: Prevalence, Predictors, and Acting Out among Third Grade Children. Child Trends Research Brief. Publication #2006-19
Moore, Kristin Anderson; Hair, Elizabeth C.; Vandivere, Sharon; McPhee, Cameron B.; McNamara, Michelle; Ling, Thomson
Child Trends
This brief examines the factors related to depressive symptoms among mothers and explores the implications for acting out behavior in their third grade children. The authors found that children's acting out (externalizing) behavior in the third grade can be affected by a variety of difficulties in the lives of their mothers. Some of these difficulties include financial problems, welfare receipt, relationship unhappiness, and low income, which may be amenable to policy intervention. Specifically, the key findings reveal that depressive symptoms are higher among economically disadvantaged mothers, mothers receiving welfare payments, and mothers in unhappy relationships. Furthermore, mothers' depressive symptoms are related to more acting out behaviors in their children, partly because depressed mothers are more likely to use inappropriate discipline strategies with their children. Child Trends analyzed data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study: Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K) for this study. ECLS-K is a nationally representative study that has been following 20,000 children who entered kindergarten in the fall of 1998. Child Trends' researchers studied 9,037 children whose mothers or female guardians responded to parent questionnaires in the spring of 1999. The surveys included questions about depressive symptoms. To measure depressive symptoms, the ECLS-K has used an abbreviated version of the original 20-item Center for Epidemiological Studies of Depression Scale (CES-D), developed by the National Institute of Mental Health. Findings include: (1) 6.4 percent of children in the kindergarten class of 1998-99 had a mother who reported symptoms of depression; (2) The study found that children's acting out is affected by a variety of difficulties in the lives of children's mothers, several of which may be amenable to policy intervention, such as financial problems, welfare receipt, relationship unhappiness, and income; (3) When parental education and family income are higher and mothers describe their relationship with their spouse or partner as more satisfactory, children tend to act out less, over and above the effects of background factors such as race/ethnicity and health; (4) Mothers who receive welfare, have financial problems, work very long hours, and work during a child's preschool years have children who are more likely to act out in third grade; and (5) Greater relationship satisfaction is related to fewer depressive symptoms. (Contains 1 table, 2 figures, and 14 endotes.)
Child Trends. 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 100, Washington, DC 20008. Tel: 202-572-6000; Fax: 202-362-8420; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 3
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD.
Authoring Institution: Child Trends, Inc., Washington, DC.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A