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Parental self-compassion and child adjustment: the mediating role of parental depressive symptoms

Cheung, R. Y. M. ORCID:, Li, Z. and Ho, A. P. L. (2022) Parental self-compassion and child adjustment: the mediating role of parental depressive symptoms. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (9). 5133. ISSN 1660-4601

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/ijerph19095133


Previous research suggests that self-compassion is associated with mental health and well-being. However, little has been done to understand the role of self-compassion in the family context. Hence, the present study investigated the associations between parents’ self-compassion, parent’s depressive symptoms, and child adjustment. A total 189 Chinese parents (101 mothers) whose children were 2–8 years old were recruited to complete a questionnaire, including measures of parents’ self-compassion, depressive symptoms, and children’s prosocial behavior, internalizing problems, and externalizing problems. Findings indicated mediation effects, in that parents’ depressive symptoms mediated the association between their self-compassion and child adjustment outcomes, namely children’s internalizing and externalizing problems, after controlling for the effects of monthly family income, child gender, and parent gender. Competing hypothesis suggested that parents’ self-compassion did not moderate between parents’ depressive symptoms and child adjustment outcomes. Hence, the association between parental depressive symptoms and child adjustment was not dependent on the level of parents’ self-compassion. As an implication, researchers and practitioners should be made aware of the benefits of parents’ self-compassion on parents’ mental health and child adjustment.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:107918
Publisher:MDPI Publishing


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