Presentation on theme: "Negative Parenting and Late Adolescents’ Mental Health: The Protective Function of Relationships with Grandparents Kristen E. Rabe, Bethany S. Quinn, &"— Presentation transcript:
Negative Parenting and Late Adolescents’ Mental Health: The Protective Function of Relationships with Grandparents Kristen E. Rabe, Bethany S. Quinn, & Laura D. Pittman Northern Illinois UniversityIntroduction Interactions Methods The presence of grandparents in the lives of their grandchildren is becoming increasingly common (Bengston, 2001). As a result, many researchers have started looking into the relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren in order to understand the effect of these relationships are on both parties. Ruiz and Silverstein (2007) found that the stronger the ties were between young adult grandchildren and their grandparents, the fewer depressive symptoms these young adult grandchildren possessed. Similarly, Attar-Schwartz et al. (2009) found that the greater level of grandparent involvement in a grandchild’s life were associated with fewer emotional problems and more pro-social behavior. Additionally, grandparents sometimes serve in a protective role when children are faced with risk (Werner & Smith, 1982; 1992), buffering the expected negative influences of maternal depression (Silverstein & Ruiz, 2006) and growing up in a single-parent household (Ruiz & Silverstein, 2007). This study examines the influence of the quality of the grandparent relationship on emotional functioning among late adolescents. In addition, exploration of whether these relationships buffer the risk associated with negative parenting is explored. Conclusions Results Participants & Procedures 240 18- and 19-year-old college students (52% female; 64% Caucasian) reported on aspects of their own psychological adjustment,their mothers’ and fathers’ parenting, and the quality of their relationship with the grandmother and grandfather they felt were most influential in their lives using questionnaires administered in a group setting. Measures The Children’s Report of Parental Behavior Inventory-Revised (Schaefer, 1965; Schludermann & Schludermann, 1970) was used to assess parents’ Acceptance, Firm Control, and Psychological Control. Grandparent relationship quality was reported using three subscales of the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (Trust, Communication, and Alienation; Armsden & Greenberg, 1989). Adolescents reported on their Global Self-Worth using a subscale from the Self-Perception Profile for College Students (Neeman & Harter, 1986). Two subscales of the he Mental Health Index (Veit & Ware, 1983) was used to assess Mental Health & Cognitive Functioning of the adolescents. Data Analysis Description Three sets of hierarchical regressions were run to examine the influence of the dimensions of mother and father parenting and grandmother and grandfather relationship quality on each adolescent outcomes (i.e., Mental Health, Cognitive Functioning, and Self-Worth). In Step 1 adolescents’ age, gender, and minority status were entered. In Step 2, the main effects of each aspect of parenting and grandparent relationship quality were entered. In Step 3, interactions between the specific aspects of parenting and grandparent relationship quality were entered (e.g., mother acceptance x grandmother trust). This was repeated for each combination of parent and grandparent dimensions. VariableMHIMHI-CSelf-Worth Mom Acceptance.39***.22*.33*** Mom Firm Control.04.11.12 Mom Psychological Control -.13 -.22+-.10 Dad Acceptance.06.00-.03 Dad Firm Control -.08.06.00 Dad Psychological Control -.02-.11-.08 GM Alienation -.44**-.03-.26 GM Communication.17.00.01 GM Trust -.44*.07-.16 GF Alienation.23-.18.30+ GF Communication -.06-.09.21 GF Trust.35+-.04.24 F-Ratio 5.58*** 2.83*** 3.42*** R2R2.39***.24***.28*** Adj. R 2.32***.16***.20*** Table 2. Regressions predicting Adolescents’ Emotional and Academic Outcomes. Note: Standardized beta coefficients are presented. Age, gender, and minority status are controlled in all regression models. +p <.10; *p <.05; **p <.01; ***p <.001. VariablesMSDRange Mother Acceptance 2.65 0.381.25 - 3.00 Mother Firm Control 1.89 0.391.00 - 2.90 Mother Psychological Control 1.62 0.391.00 - 3.00 Father Acceptance 2.47 0.451.00 - 3.00 Father Firm Control 1.95 0.351.00 - 2.70 Father Psychological Control 1.49 0.351.00 - 2.70 Grandmother Trust 4.23 0.771.10 - 5.00 Grandmother Communication 3.13 1.031.00 - 5.00 Grandmother Alienation 2.11 0.751.00 - 5.00 Grandfather Trust 4.10 0.801.40 - 5.00 Grandfather Communication 2.88 1.031.00 - 5.00 Grandfather Alienation 2.12 0.741.00 - 5.00 Mental Health Index Total71.6515.803.23 - 99.35 MHI Cognitive Functioning69.1216.8816.67 - 100 Global Self Worth 3.10 0.641.00 - 4.00 Only those who reported on two parents and two grandparents were included in the final analyses (N= 148). The grandparent relationship subscales are highly correlated within grandparent (r =.65 -.67 for grandmothers and r =.62 -.70 for grandfathers) as are the similar subscales across grandparents (r =.57 -.74). The parenting subscales are also highly correlated within parent (r =.13 -.37 for mothers and r =.21 -.36 for fathers) as are the similar subscales across parents (r =.42-.60). Table 1. Descriptive Statistics When examining the quality of the grandparent relationships to late adolescents’ outcomes, above and beyond the influence of parenting, few aspects were significant. However, when looking at the quality of the grandparent relationship as a moderator, multiple significant interactions were found. When either parent was reported to have negative parenting (e.g., low acceptance, high psychological control), having a more positive relationship with a grandparent (e.g., high trust, high communication, low alienation) led to more positive mental health. Multiple limitations are present in this study. Having all measures based on the same reporter may inflate the strength of associations. Also, using a college student sample likely limits the range of mental health outcomes and perhaps the degree of negative parenting previously experienced. The cross-sectional design of this study also limits the ability to make causal conclusion. The direction of the assocaitions can not be assumed. Future studies using a longitudinal design would be beneficial. To consider under what conditions grandparents may buffer risk, future studies could consider different age groups, other known risks (e.g., family poverty, single parent households) and other aspects of the grandparent relationship (e.g., financial support, amount of contact). When mother acceptance was high, grandmother communication did not make a difference to adolescents’ mental health. However, when mother acceptance was low, grandmother communication was positively associated with adolescents’ mental health. When father psychological control was low, GF alienation did not make a difference to adolescents’ cognitive functioning. However, when father psychological control was high, GF alienation was negatively associated with adolescents’ cognitive functioning. When mother acceptance was high, grandfather trust did not make a difference to adolescents’ mental health. However, when mother acceptance was low, grandfather trust was positively associated with adolescents’ mental health. When father psychological control was low, GM trust did not make a difference to adolescents’ cognitive functioning. However, when father psychological control was high, GM trust was negatively associated with adolescents’ cognitive functioning, so better functioning occurred at low levels of alienation. 26 out of the possible 36 interactions were significant including eight M x GM interactions, seven F x GF interactions, seven M x GF interactions, and four F x GM interactions. The following illustrate the patterns found:
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