Maternal positive and negative interaction behaviors and early adolescents' depressive symptoms: Adolescent emotion regulation as a mediator

Marie Bee Hui Yap, Orli Schwartz, Michelle L Byrne, Julian G Simmons, Nicholas Brian Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the relation between mothers positive and negative interaction behaviors during mother-child interactions and the emotion regulation (ER) and depressive symptoms of their adolescent offspring. Event-planning (EPI) and problem-solving interactions (PSI) were observed in 163 mother-adolescent dyads, and adolescents also provided a self-report of ER responses and depressive symptoms. Sequential analyses of mother-adolescent behaviors during the interaction tasks indicated that adolescents with more depressive symptoms were more likely to reciprocate their mothers negative affective behaviors. Adolescents whose mothers displayed less positivity and more negativity (i.e., less frequent positive and more frequent negative behaviors) during the EPI displayed more emotionally dysregulated behaviors in the PSI and reported more frequent maladaptive ER responses. Adolescents whose mothers behaved negatively toward them more frequently during mother-adolescent interactions also reported more depressive symptoms. The frequency with which adolescents engage in maladaptive ER responses mediated the association between maternal negativity and adolescents concurrent depressive symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1014-1043
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Cite this