Childhood behaviour problems and depressed mood: The mediating role of social rejection, parent-child interaction and academic difficulty
Lapalme M, *Picarou K, Letarte M-J, Paquette G, Déry M, Verlaan P. (2018). Childhood behaviour problems and depressed mood: The mediating role of social rejection, parent-child interaction and academic difficulty. Revue de Psychoéducation. 47(1): 87-110.
Behaviour problems and depressed mood often occur concurrently in adolescence and have various consequences. Drawing on the Patterson and Capaldi (1990) model, the present study sought to validate the role of two of its variables—social rejection (peer rejection, social insertion) and academic difficulty—and of another variable—parent-child interaction (warmth, coercion)—as mediators of the relationship between childhood behaviour problems and development of depressed mood in early adolescence. The study also sought to verify whether the role of these variables differed by gender. The final sample was composed of 675 children, including 319 girls, 6 to 9 years of age at study outset. They were recruited for presenting behaviour problems or different risk factors for behaviour problem. The results showed that, for boys, quality of social insertion in particular allowed explaining the relationship between presence of behaviour problems and later development of depressed mood. For girls, instead, it was quality of warm parent-child interaction. In terms of practical application, the results underscore the gender-specific mediating role of parent-child interaction and of social insertion in the relationship between childhood behaviour problems and depressed mood. Recommendations are made regarding evidence-based practices for intervening with children with behaviour problems.