Parenting and Depression: Differences across Parental Roles

Kevin Shafer, Brigham Young University
Garrett Pace, Brigham Young University

Despite the prevalence of stepfamilies in society, little is known about the mental well-being of (step)parents in stepfamilies. Following 1,561 men and women over time using NLSY79 data, we examined the association of children and parent depressive symptoms in post-divorce relationships (i.e., cohabitation and remarriage). Results from logistic regression revealed that having a new biological child while a stepchild was present in the home was associated with large odds of high depressive symptoms. Having a new biological child in the first year of a new relationship had a very low likelihood of depressive symptoms, and those who waited were at increased risk of symptoms with each additional year of waiting. Findings suggested that various parent-child relationships and the timing of having a new child together play important roles in the mental adjustment of adults to a new stepfamily.

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Presented in Poster Session 5