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Parental perception matters: reciprocal relations between adolescents’ depressive symptoms and parental perceptions

Ohtani, K., Tamura, A., Sakaki, M. ORCID:, Murayama, K., Ishikawa, S.-i., Ishii, R., Nakazato, N., Suzuki, T. and Tanaka, A. (2023) Parental perception matters: reciprocal relations between adolescents’ depressive symptoms and parental perceptions. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 70 (1). pp. 103-118. ISSN 1939-2168

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1037/cou0000632


A large body of research has shown that parents play a vital role in the development of adolescents’ depression. However, previous research has overlooked the effects of a potentially critical factor, namely, parental perceptions, and beliefs about adolescents’ depression. The present study examined whether parental perceptions of an adolescent’s depressive symptoms predict longitudinal changes in adolescents’ symptoms (i.e., the parental perception effect). The longitudinal relationship between adolescents’ depressive symptoms and parental perceptions of the adolescents’ symptoms was analyzed in three independent groups of parent–adolescent pairs (in total N = 1,228). Parental perception and monitoring effects were found in Studies 1B and 2 only in the depressive mood subscale. While a decreased enjoyment subscale showed a perception effect in Study 1A, we obtained null results from other studies. We synthesized the results by applying meta-analytic structural equation modeling to obtain a more robust estimate. The analysis qualified both perception and monitoring effects in both subscales. Our results suggest that when parents believe that their adolescent child is depressed, adolescents are cognitively biased by their parental perceptions over time, resulting in more severe depressive symptoms.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:106020
Publisher:American Psychological Association


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