Intergenerational Effects of Maternal Depression and Co-Occurring Antisocial Behaviors: The Mediating Role of Parenting-Related Processes

Justin Russotti, Hannah Swerbenski, Elizabeth D. Handley, Louisa C. Michl-Petzing, Dante Cicchetti, Sheree L. Toth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Co-occurring maternal depression and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) are associated with the development of psychopathology in children, yet little is known about risk mechanisms. In a sample of 122 racially diverse and economically disadvantaged families, we prospectively investigated (a) to what extent child socioemotional problems were related to maternal depression-only, ASPD-only, or the co-occurrence of both and (b) specificity in parenting-related mechanisms linking single-type or comorbid maternal psychopathology to child outcomes at age 3. Compared to mothers without either ASPD or depression, exposure to maternal depression-only and comorbid depression/ASPD predicted child problems as a function of greater parenting stress and lower maternal sensitivity. Mothers with comorbid depression/ASPD uniquely exhibited more negative parenting and had children with more socioemotional problems than mothers with depression-only. Compared to mothers with neither ASPD nor depression, mothers with depression-only uniquely impacted child difficulties via lower maternal efficacy. Study findings suggest areas of parenting intervention. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-419
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants received from the National Institute of Mental Health (R01MH067792) and Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (P50HD096698) to Sheree L. Toth.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. American Psychological Association


  • developmental psychopathology
  • intergenerational risk
  • maternal depression
  • parental psychopathology

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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