Parenting While Depressed: The Influence of Interpersonal Supports and Community Resources for Mothers
Maternal depression may have a significant impact on multiple aspects of parenting throughout childhood, leading to negative outcomes for children. However, the impact of depression on parenting perceptions, practices, and involvement may differ among mothers, particularly when protective factors are present. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, we compared three aspects of parenting (perceptions, practices, and involvement) between depressed and non-depressed mothers, and then investigated the influence of interpersonal supports and community resources on these aspects of the parenting, specifically for depressed mothers. Findings indicated that mothers with depression were equally involved with the child at home, but were more likely to hold negative perceptions of parenting. Furthermore, interpersonal supports and community resources had an indirect impact on parenting practices and involvement through perceptions of parenting, highlighting the importance of interventions for mothers with depression that address the appraisal and expectations of parenting stress and competencies.