The impact of family functioning and mental health condition on the child’s behavioral problems

Qian Wang1, Ting Zhou2
1Department of Clinical Psychotherapy, Capital Medical University, People’s Republic of China
2School of Management, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Wang, Q., & Zhou, T. (2015). The impact of family functioning and mental health condition on the child’s behavioral problems. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 43(7), 1135-1146.

Volume 43 Issue 7 | e4619 | Published: August 2015 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2015.43.7.1135

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We examined correlates of mental health conditions among family members and explored the effects of mothers’ and fathers’ mental health and family functioning on their child’s behavioral problems. Participants were 119 couples in China, of whom the majority were parents in 1-child families. These parents reported their own anxiety and depression symptoms, behavioral problems of their child, and perceived family functioning. Results indicated that the mental health condition of the father, mother, and child were closely correlated, and that parental mental health was positively correlated with family functioning. Further, the couples had relatively high consistency in their ratings of family functioning and the child’s behavioral problems, with rating discrepancies being positively correlated with mental health conditions. Finally, paternal mental health made a unique contribution to prediction of the child’s behavioral problems when father-reported data were used, but this effect was not significant when the mother-reported data were applied.

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