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Volume 28 Issue 2 (May 2019), Pages 253-498

How do my parents react when I feel happy? Longitudinal associations with adolescent depressive symptoms, anhedonia, and positive affect regulation (pages 255-273)

Abstract Parental emotion socialization plays a role in the development of adolescents’ emotion regulation and is associated with adolescents’ depressive symptoms. Most research has focused on parental socialization of negative affect. The scarce research on parental socialization of positive affect (PA) shows that parental downgrading responses to adolescents’ PA are associated with concurrent adolescent depression. The aims of the present study were to examine longitudinal associations of both maternal and paternal responses to adolescents’ PA with how adolescents regulate their PA (i.e., dampening and enhancing) and with adolescents’ general depressive symptoms and anhedonia. We also considered associations in the opposite direction from adolescent regulatory responses and symptoms to parental responses. In a two‐wave study (1‐year interval), 635 adolescents from Grade seven completed questionnaires. Cross‐sectionally, maternal and paternal responses to adolescents’ PA were associated with concurrent adolescents’ PA regulation as well as adolescents’ depressive and anhedonic symptoms. Longitudinally, low maternal and paternal enhancing responses to adolescents’ PA predicted relative increases in anhedonic symptoms and relative decreases in adolescent enhancing over time. Low maternal enhancing was also predictive of relative increases in depressive symptoms. The present study points to bidirectionality of relations as adolescents’ level of depressive symptoms predicted maternal and paternal responses.

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