Developmental Psychopathology in Children: Risk Factors and Parenting

A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067). This special issue belongs to the section "Child and Adolescent Psychiatry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2023) | Viewed by 22675

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Promenta Research Center, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1094, Blindern, 0317 Oslo, Norway
Interests: developmental psychopathology; externalizing and internalizing difficulties; comorbidity; risk and protective factors; resilience; socioemotional development; temperament; emotion regulation; parenting; genetics

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Promenta Research Center, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1094, Blindern, 0317 Oslo, Norway
Interests: developmental psychopathology; risk and protective factors; resilience; externalizing and internalizing difficulties; prosocial behavior; family; parent–child relationship; parent mental health; prenatal stress; genetics; epigenetics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Across childhood and adolescence, parenting contributes to numerous child outcomes, including emotional competence, positive social interactions, academic achievement, and decreased risk for mental health difficulties, such as anxiety and depressive symptoms and externalizing difficulties. Parenting is also frequently the target of interventions that aim to alleviate offspring mental health difficulties. Although psychosocial risk factors are frequently investigated in relation to child mental health, their influence on parenting is not as extensively investigated. In addition to contextual factors, such as socioeconomic status, child and parent characteristics are expected to influence parenting.

This Special Issue aims to collect topical empirical studies that extend the current state of research on psychosocial risk and parenting practices and have implications for applied settings, such as interventions or clinical services. Studies in the following three categories are particularly welcome:

  • Parent characteristics (e.g., emotion understanding, emotion regulation, empathy, self-efficacy, sleep disturbances, executive functions);
  • Multiple psychosocial risk factors and their interaction;
  • Longitudinal or transactional associations between psychosocial risk factors and parenting.

We welcome original research studies, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses.

Dr. Stella Tsotsi
Dr. Mona Bekkhus
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Children is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • developmental psychopathology
  • internalizing problems
  • externalizing problems
  • parenting practices
  • parenting styles
  • risk factors
  • resilience
  • emotion regulation
  • emotion socialization
  • family processes

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 289 KiB  
Article
The Home Environments of Infants of Mothers with Early, Remitted Clinical Depression and No Depression during the First Two Years Postpartum
by Lauren M. Henry, Nanmathi Manian, Gianluca Esposito and Marc H. Bornstein
Children 2023, 10(9), 1471; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10091471 - 29 Aug 2023
Viewed by 916
Abstract
The current study examines stability, continuity, and group and gender differences in the home environments of infants of mothers with early, remitted clinical depression and no postpartum depression, overcoming methodological variations in the extant literature. Fifty-five mothers diagnosed with clinical depression (major or [...] Read more.
The current study examines stability, continuity, and group and gender differences in the home environments of infants of mothers with early, remitted clinical depression and no postpartum depression, overcoming methodological variations in the extant literature. Fifty-five mothers diagnosed with clinical depression (major or minor depression, dysthymia, or depressive disorder not otherwise specified) at 5 months and fully remitted by 15 and 24 months, and 132 mothers with no postpartum depression (Mage = 32.47; 69.7% European American) completed the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME) Inventory Infant/Toddler version when their infants were 15 and 24 months old. No differences in stability estimates of the HOME scales were found between the groups. In terms of continuity, controlling for maternal education and infant birth order, HOME responsivity, involvement, and total score decreased, while HOME acceptance increased between 15 and 24 months in the full sample. There were no effects of group or gender. Results may point to the home environment as a key protective factor for infants of mothers with early, remitted clinical depression, or findings may suggest improved maternal parenting cognitions and practices following remission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Psychopathology in Children: Risk Factors and Parenting)
14 pages, 283 KiB  
Article
Becoming Dad: Expectant Fathers’ Attachment Style and Prenatal Representations of the Unborn Child
by Hedvig Svendsrud, Eivor Fredriksen, Vibeke Moe, Lars Smith, Stella Tsotsi, Anne Karin Ullebø, Gro Vatne Brean, Anne Kaasen and Mona Bekkhus
Children 2023, 10(7), 1187; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10071187 - 8 Jul 2023
Viewed by 3872
Abstract
How expectant fathers think and feel about the unborn child (prenatal representations), has shown associations with fathers’ postnatal parenting behaviors, observed father–infant interactional quality and child cognitive development. There is limited knowledge about fathers’ prenatal representations. The present study examined if fathers’ partner-related [...] Read more.
How expectant fathers think and feel about the unborn child (prenatal representations), has shown associations with fathers’ postnatal parenting behaviors, observed father–infant interactional quality and child cognitive development. There is limited knowledge about fathers’ prenatal representations. The present study examined if fathers’ partner-related attachment styles were related to their prenatal representations of the unborn child. In the “Little in Norway Study”, an ongoing prospective, longitudinal population-based study, 396 expectant fathers completed the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale at enrollment (mean gestational week = 23.76, SD = 4.93), and in gestational weeks 27–35 completed three questions assessing prenatal representations. Correlations of attachment style and prenatal representations were reported using logistic regression analyses. We found that an avoidant attachment style by fathers were predicted to have absent or negative representations on all three items (1) “strongest feeling about the unborn child” (Cl = 1.19–2.73), (2) “thoughts about child personality” (Cl = 1.16–1.87), and (3) “experiences of relationship with the child” (Cl = 1.14–1.75). Father anxious attachment style was not significantly associated with absent or negative prenatal representations. Results suggest that expectant fathers with a partner related avoidant attachment style have an increased risk of having absent or negative prenatal representations of the unborn child. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Psychopathology in Children: Risk Factors and Parenting)
19 pages, 1923 KiB  
Article
Examining a Complex Model Linking Maternal Reflective Functioning, Maternal Meta-Emotion Philosophies, and Child Emotion Regulation
by Rong Shao, Sitong Liu, Robert J. Coplan, Xi Chen and Junsheng Liu
Children 2023, 10(7), 1161; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10071161 - 2 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1552
Abstract
Parental Reflective Functioning (PRF) refers to parents’ ability to understand their children’s behavior in light of underlying mental states such as thoughts, desires, and intentions. This study aimed to investigate whether maternal meta-emotion philosophies (i.e., emotion coaching, emotion dismissing) mediated the relation between [...] Read more.
Parental Reflective Functioning (PRF) refers to parents’ ability to understand their children’s behavior in light of underlying mental states such as thoughts, desires, and intentions. This study aimed to investigate whether maternal meta-emotion philosophies (i.e., emotion coaching, emotion dismissing) mediated the relation between maternal RF and child emotion regulation (ER). Additionally, children’s genders and ages were examined as moderators of the associations between maternal RF and maternal meta-emotion philosophies. The sample comprises 667 Chinese mothers of children aged 4–6 years. Mothers completed questionnaires assessing their reflective functioning, emotion coaching and dismissing, and child emotion regulation. Results indicated both a direct link between maternal RF and child emotion regulation, as well as indirect pathways mediated by emotion coaching and dismissing. A child’s gender and age also moderated the relations between maternal RF and meta-emotion philosophies. Specifically, the negative association between maternal pre-mentalizing modes and emotion coaching was stronger for mothers of girls than boys; whereas the negative association between maternal certainty of mental states and emotion dismissing, as well as the positive association between maternal interest and curiosity and emotion coaching were both stronger for mothers of younger children than older children. The findings suggest that emotion coaching and dismissing mediate the relation between maternal PRF and the emotion regulation of children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Psychopathology in Children: Risk Factors and Parenting)
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20 pages, 673 KiB  
Article
Exploring Parenting Styles Patterns and Children’s Socio-Emotional Skills
by Aikaterini Vasiou, Wassilis Kassis, Anastasia Krasanaki, Dilan Aksoy, Céline Anne Favre and Spyridon Tantaros
Children 2023, 10(7), 1126; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10071126 - 29 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 7121
Abstract
In this study, we adopted parenting styles as a multidimensional and latent construct that includes different aspects of parenting, rather than solely focusing on a single parenting style. In a Web-based survey with 1203 Greek parents, we identified parenting styles and their SDQ [...] Read more.
In this study, we adopted parenting styles as a multidimensional and latent construct that includes different aspects of parenting, rather than solely focusing on a single parenting style. In a Web-based survey with 1203 Greek parents, we identified parenting styles and their SDQ reports on their children. According to our results by Latent Profile Analysis, we must use a more complex approach concerning parenting styles. We identified a “Highly Authoritative style” profile with high levels of authoritative, low levels of authoritarian and middle levels of permissive parenting styles. We additionally identified a profile called “Relaxed Authoritative style”, with still high but lower levels of authoritative style, low but slightly heightened levels of authoritarian style, and middle levels of permissive style. A further profile, named “Permissive Focused Authoritative style”, had a mix of high levels of authoritative, moderate levels of permissive, and elevated levels of authoritarian parenting styles. Finally, in a profile named “Inconsistent Parenting style”, we identified parents with a blend of still high, but the lowest of all four levels of authoritative and highest levels of permissive and authoritarian parenting styles. When combining the four identified parenting patterns with the SDQ results, we identified the “highly authoritative parenting style” profile to be the least connected to internalizing or externalizing problems of the respective children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Psychopathology in Children: Risk Factors and Parenting)
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11 pages, 978 KiB  
Article
Leisure Time Activities and Subjective Happiness in Early Adolescents from Three Ibero-American Countries: The Cases of Brazil, Chile and Spain
by Diego Gomez-Baya, Tania Gaspar, Rafael Corrêa, Javier Augusto Nicoletti and Francisco Jose Garcia-Moro
Children 2023, 10(6), 1058; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10061058 - 14 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1999
Abstract
(1) Background: The aim of the present study is to analyze subjective happiness in relation to leisure time in 10-year-old boys and girls from Brazil, Chile and Spain and to determine which leisure time activity has a greater effect on their subjective happiness [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The aim of the present study is to analyze subjective happiness in relation to leisure time in 10-year-old boys and girls from Brazil, Chile and Spain and to determine which leisure time activity has a greater effect on their subjective happiness and whether there are differences according to gender. (2) Methods: Data from the third wave of the Children’s Worlds Project was used, which was collected by administering self-report measures to representative samples in each country. The sample was composed of 4008 early adolescents from Brazil (22.1%, n = 886), Chile (22.8%, n = 913) and Spain (55.1%, n = 2209). The mean age of the sample was 10.17 years (SD = 0.57), and 51.7% were girls. (3) Results: In terms of subjective happiness, moderate to high means were observed, with higher scores in boys and the Spanish sample. The results showed some differences in leisure time activities among children from Brazil, Chile and Spain. Furthermore, the results highlighted the importance of relaxation time with the family to promote happiness in pre-adolescence across genders and countries. Additionally, playing outdoors and doing homework were also found to be protective factors for subjective happiness. (4) Conclusions: In Brazil, Chile and Spain the most consistent result was the positive effect of spending time relaxing with the family on subjective happiness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Psychopathology in Children: Risk Factors and Parenting)
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14 pages, 1844 KiB  
Article
Reasons for Migration, Post-Migration Sociocultural Characteristics, and Parenting Styles of Chinese American Immigrant Families
by Xinyue Wang, Stephanie L. Haft and Qing Zhou
Children 2023, 10(4), 612; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10040612 - 24 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2072
Abstract
With the growing percentage of Chinese immigrants in the U.S. population, it is crucial to understand how pre-migration factors (such as reasons for migration) are related to the adjustment of families in the host country. The present study examined reasons for migration and [...] Read more.
With the growing percentage of Chinese immigrants in the U.S. population, it is crucial to understand how pre-migration factors (such as reasons for migration) are related to the adjustment of families in the host country. The present study examined reasons for migration and their associations with post-migration sociocultural factors and parenting styles in a community-based sample of Chinese American immigrant families (N = 258) living in the San Francisco Bay Area. The parents’ self-reported reasons for migration included family reasons (55.1%, e.g., family reunification), betterment reasons (18.0%, e.g., better education and occupational opportunities), and both family and betterment reasons (26.9%). Those who migrated for betterment reasons reported significantly higher parental education and per capita income than the family reason group (p < 0.001) and significantly higher income than the combined reason group (p = 0.007). No significant group differences emerged in cultural orientations and parenting styles after controlling for socioeconomic factors. The findings suggested that Chinese immigrant families who migrated solely for better education and occupational opportunities had significantly higher post-migration socioeconomic status than other reason groups. These differences have relevance for programs and services for new immigrants, as families might need different types of support (e.g., socioeconomic vs. relational) depending on their motivations for migration and post-migration socioeconomic resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Psychopathology in Children: Risk Factors and Parenting)
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11 pages, 455 KiB  
Article
Mothers’ Emotion Regulation and Negative Affect in Infants: The Role of Self-Efficacy and Knowledge of Parenting Practices
by Oriola Hamzallari, Leanna Rosinski, Anton Petrenko and David J. Bridgett
Children 2023, 10(1), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10010085 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2226
Abstract
Early in development, children rely heavily on caregivers for assistance with the regulation of negative emotion. As such, it is important to understand parent characteristics that influence caregiver ability to attenuate infant negative affect and mediating factors by which this process may unfold. [...] Read more.
Early in development, children rely heavily on caregivers for assistance with the regulation of negative emotion. As such, it is important to understand parent characteristics that influence caregiver ability to attenuate infant negative affect and mediating factors by which this process may unfold. This study examined the relationship between parental emotional regulation strategies (ERs) and infants’ negative affect and tested the mediating effects of parenting self-efficacy and knowledge of this association. Results indicated that higher maternal reappraisal was related to higher maternal self-efficacy whereas higher maternal suppression was related to lower knowledge of parenting practices. Maternal suppression was negatively related to infant frustration; maternal self-efficacy was positively related to infant falling reactivity and negatively related to sadness. There was a significant indirect effect between maternal reappraisal and infant falling reactivity through maternal self-efficacy. The mediation result suggests that mothers with higher use of reappraisal show higher self-efficacy and have infants with higher falling reactivity. Maternal knowledge about parenting practices was related to lower infant fear. Maternal knowledge of parenting practices did not mediate any associations between maternal emotion regulation strategies and infant negative affect. These findings contribute to the understanding early protective parenting mechanisms for supporting the external regulation of negative affect in infants and also in designing and implementing preventive parenting programs focused on the emotional needs of parents and children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Psychopathology in Children: Risk Factors and Parenting)
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Review

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14 pages, 285 KiB  
Review
Coregulation: A Multilevel Approach via Biology and Behavior
by Marc H. Bornstein and Gianluca Esposito
Children 2023, 10(8), 1323; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081323 - 31 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1427
Abstract
In this article, we explore the concept of coregulation, which encompasses the mutual adaptation between partners in response to one another’s biology and behavior. Coregulation operates at both biological (hormonal and nervous system) and behavioral (affective and cognitive) levels and plays a [...] Read more.
In this article, we explore the concept of coregulation, which encompasses the mutual adaptation between partners in response to one another’s biology and behavior. Coregulation operates at both biological (hormonal and nervous system) and behavioral (affective and cognitive) levels and plays a crucial role in the development of self-regulation. Coregulation extends beyond the actions of individuals in a dyad and involves interactive contributions of both partners. We use as an example parent–child coregulation, which is pervasive and expected, as it emerges from shared genetic relatedness, cohabitation, continuous interaction, and the influence of common factors like culture, which facilitate interpersonal coregulation. We also highlight the emerging field of neural attunement, which investigates the coordination of brain-based neural activities between individuals, particularly in social interactions. Understanding the mechanisms and significance of neural attunement adds a new dimension to our understanding of coregulation and its implications for parent–child relationships and child development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Psychopathology in Children: Risk Factors and Parenting)
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