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ERIC Number: EJ878666
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9630
The Representation of Fathers by Children of Depressed Mothers: Refining the Meaning of Parentification in High-Risk Samples
Woolgar, Matthew; Murray, Lynne
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v51 n5 p621-629 May 2010
Background: Children's representations of mothers in doll-play are associated with child adjustment. Despite the importance of fathers for children's adjustment, especially in the context of maternal psychopathology, few studies have considered children's representations of their fathers. Method: We examined the portrayal of fathers by 5-year-old children of depressed (N = 55) and non-depressed (N = 39) mothers in a doll-play procedure concerning family experience. Results: Children gave equal prominence in their play to mothers and fathers. Representations of fathers were unrelated to maternal mood, but were associated with parental conflict. Representations of child care for the father that was unreciprocated predicted poor child adjustment in school, but only in children exposed to maternal postnatal depression. Conclusions: It may be clinically useful to consider children's distinctive representations of their mother and father; but the concept of parentification in relation to risk and resilience effects requires refinement.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A