Mothers' mental games increase depressive symptoms in daughters

November 24, 2008

A new study in the journal Family Relations examined the effects of a mother's psychological control on the risk for depression of African American adolescents. Researchers found that girls whose mothers played mental games with them like making them feel guilty or withdrawing expressions of love reported much higher levels of depressive symptoms and lower levels of personal agency.

Psychological control did not affect the psychological well-being of boys.

Jelani Mandara and Crysta L. Pikes examined a sample of 152 African American students in the ninth through twelfth grade at a high school in a large Midwestern city. The sample consisted of 102 females and 50 males. Researchers assessed the degree to which maternal psychological control had an effect on depressive symptoms.

Mandara and Pikes suggested that, "The key for practitioners will be to impress upon parents the need to find a balance between psychological autonomy and behavioral regulation at each stage of their children's development."

Source: Wiley

Explore further: Record-breaking astronauts return to Earth – taking us one step closer to Mars

Related Stories

New treatment hope for people with recurring depression

December 1, 2008

Research shows for the first time that a group-based psychological treatment, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), could be a viable alternative to prescription drugs for people suffering from long-term depression.

Recommended for you

Four pre-Inca tombs found in Peru's Lima

November 27, 2015

Archaeologists in Peru have found four tombs that are more than 1,000 years old in a pyramid-shaped cemetery that now sits in the middle of a residential neighborhood in Lima, experts said.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.