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The relationship of stress and depressed mood to maternal reactions Krech, Kathryn H. 1990

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THE RELATIONSHIP OF STRESS AND DEPRESSED MOOD TO MATERNAL REACTIONS By K a t h r y n H. K r e c h B.A., McMaster U n i v e r s i t y , 1986 THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department o f Ps y c h o l o g y ) We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ©February 1990 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Payc-Mo^-OGV The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date M ftftcri «2 I^^O  DE-6 (2/88) A b s t r a c t Models o f p a r e n t i n g a r e becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y complex. The domain has e v o l v e d from a s i m p l e p a r e n t b e h a v i o r - c h i l d b e h a v i o r paradigm t o one which c o n s i d e r s s y s t e m i c i n f l u e n c e s . C o n t e x t u a l v a r i a b l e s , such as l i f e s t r e s s and d e p r e s s e d mood, a r e b e g i n n i n g t o r e c e i v e much a t t e n t i o n i n t h e l i t e r a t u r e . A l s o , r e s e a r c h e r s have noted t h e im p o r t a n c e o f m e asuring p a r e n t c o g n i t i o n ( i . e . , p e r c e p t i o n s ) and a f f e c t i n a d d i t i o n t o a c q u i r i n g i n f o r m a t i o n r e g a r d i n g p a r e n t b e h a v i o r . The p r e s e n t s t u d y was d e s i g n e d t o e x p l o r e t h e r o l e p l a y e d by two l e v e l s o f s t r e s s ; g l o b a l l i f e e v e n t s and d a i l y h a s s l e s , and by d e p r e s s e d mood, i n d e t e r m i n i n g m a t e r n a l a f f e c t i v e , b e h a v i o r a l and c o g n i t i v e r e s p o n s e s t o c h i l d b e h a v i o r . A community sample o f 66 s i n g l e mothers p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h e s t u d y . Mothers r e a d 12 d e s c r i p t i o n s o f c h i l d b e h a v i o r , each embedded i n one o f t h r e e c o n t e x t s o f s t r e s s ( i . e . , g l o b a l l i f e e vent c o n t e x t , d a i l y h a s s l e s c o n t e x t , no s t r e s s c o n t e x t ) . The sample was d i v i d e d i n t o t h r e e groups (n=22) on t h e b a s i s o f s c o r e s on a s t a n d a r d mood i n s t r u m e n t . Only t h o s e mothers who r e c e i v e d s c o r e s i n t h e two extreme groups ( i . e . , d e p r e s s e d mood and nondepressed mood) were i n c l u d e d i n t h e main a n a l y s e s . A two-way repeated measures MANOVA revealed a main e f f e c t for stress, but not for mood, when the BDI was used to create the groups. When the CES-D was u t i l i z e d , a main e f f e c t for stress, and for mood, was detected. No s i g n i f i c a n t stress by mood interaction was observed. Follow-up univariate ANOVAS and multiple comparision tests revealed that the d a i l y hassles context had a greater influence on maternal responses to c h i l d behavior than did the global l i f e events context. That i s , mothers were more a f f e c t i v e l y aroused, indicated a more intense anticipated behavioral reaction and perceived the c h i l d behavior to be more deviant, i n the d a i l y hassles condition compared to the other conditions. In addition, mothers who reported more depressed mood indicated greater a f f e c t i v e responsiveness to the c h i l d behavior vignettes than mothers who did not report depressed mood. The res u l t s are discussed in terms of empirical and applied implications. i v . Table of Contents Page Preliminary Pages i i A. Abstract i i B. Table of Contents iv C. L i s t of tables v i i D. Acknowledgement v i i i Chapter 1. Introduction 1 A. Review of the l i t e r a t u r e 1 1. The parent behavior-child behavior l i n k 1 2. Reciprocity of Influence 3 3. The parent perceptions-parent behavior l i n k 5 4. Factors a f f e c t i n g parent behavior & perceptions... 7 5. Personal c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s 8 6. Depressed mood and parent behavior 10 7. The depressed mood-parent perceptions l i n k 13 8. Environmental conditions 15 9. Stress 16 10. Levels of stress 18 11. The stress-parent behavior l i n k 20 12. The stress-parent perceptions l i n k 25 13. The ro l e of parent a f f e c t 26 V . B. Rationale 28 C. Hypotheses 29 D. J u s t i f i c a t i o n for sample 30 Chapter 2. Method 3 2 A. Subjects 32 B. Procedure 3 6 C. Materials 37 1. The questionnaire package 37 2. The demographic information 38 3. The measures of depressed mood 3 8 4. The c h i l d behavior information 40 5. The indices of stress 41 6. The descriptions of c h i l d behavior 41 7. The stress contexts 4 3 8. The dependent measures 4 5 9. The stress manipulation check 47 v i . Chapter 3. Results 49 A. Preliminary analyses 49 B. Main analyses 49 C. Secondary analyses 58 1. The manipulation check 58 2. The c o r r e l a t i o n a l analyses 59 3. The descriptive analysis of parent behavior 61 Chapter 4. Discussion 63 Chapter 5. References 7 2 Chapter 6. Appendices 85 v i i . L i s t of Tables Page 1. Descriptive information for the t o t a l sample 34 2. C e l l means for MANOVA (groups formed using BDI).... 51 3. C e l l means for MANOVA (groups formed using CES-D).. 53 4. Descriptive information for the subsample 55 5. Correlational analysis of descriptive information and maternal responses 60 6. Descriptive information for behavioral responses... 62 v i i i . Acknowledgement I would l i k e t o t a k e t h i s o p p o r t u n i t y t o e x p r e s s my g r a t i t u d e t o C h a r l o t t e J o h n s t o n f o r h e r g u i d a n c e and s u p p o r t t h r o u g h o u t t h i s p r o j e c t . Thanks a r e a l s o extended t o t h e members of my committee, A n i t a DeLongis and Dan Perlman, who c o n t r i b u t e d g r e a t l y t o t h e c o m p l e t i o n o f t h i s s t u d y t h r o u g h t h e i r u s e f u l comments and s u g g e s t i o n s . I n a d d i t i o n I would l i k e t o acknowledge Kim Behrenz f o r h e r c l e r i c a l a s s i s t a n c e d u r i n g t h e c o l l e c t i o n o f t h e d a t a . 1 Parents frequently seek the help of mental health professionals i n response to c h i l d behavioral d i f f i c u l t i e s such as perceived c h i l d noncompliance, aggression and/or attentional d i f f i c u l t i e s (Offord et a l . , 1987; Yule, 1981). In recent years, there has been a movement to understand such c h i l d behavior problems i n the context of the family (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Mash, 1984; Peters & McMahon, 1987; Wahler, Leske & Rogers, 1979). I t has been suggested that many c h i l d behavior problems may be attributed, at lea s t i n part, to dysfunctional parent-child interactions (Christensen, P h i l l i p s , Glasgow & Johnson, 1983; Patterson, 1982). In response to t h i s , much research energy has been devoted to exploring the role of parent behavior i n e l i c i t i n g or maintaining c h i l d deviance. The parent behavior - c h i l d behavior r e l a t i o n s h i p Considerable evidence exists demonstrating that parent behavior i s related to c h i l d behavior. Developmental psychologists stress the importance of sen s i t i v e and responsive behavior (Ainsworth & B e l l , 1974; Skinner, 1985) and warm, supportive care-giving (Beckwith, Chown, Kopp, Parmelee, & Marci, 1976; Bradley, Caldwell, & Elardo, 1979) for normal c h i l d development. S i m i l a r l y , those who study c l i n i c a l populations have found evidence to support the l i n k between parenting practices and the development and maintenance of c h i l d behavior problems. Some researchers 2 have linked c h i l d deviance to parental power assertive d i s c i p l i n a r y s t y l e s (Baumrind, 1971; Feshbech, 1974; Hoffman, 1960, 1970; Olweus, 1980; S a l t z s t e i n , 1976). This pattern of parenting techniques i s t y p i f i e d by commands, negativeness, and permissiveness for aggression. Other researchers have u t i l i z e d sequential analysis of observed mother and c h i l d behavior to demonstrate that inappropriate ( i . e . , vague) maternal commands tend to increase c h i l d noncompliance (Christensen, P h i l l i p s , Glasgow & Johnson, 1983; Patterson, 1982). Using an observational coding system, Forehand and McMahon (1981) reported that mothers of c l i n i c - r e f e r r e d , noncompliant children are more l i k e l y to issue i n e f f e c t i v e , lengthy, and vague commands in mother-c h i l d interactions than the e f f e c t i v e , short, and precise commands used by nonclinic mothers with t h e i r children. Similar findings have been demonstrated using samples of children who display s p e c i f i c behavioral disturbances. For instance, researchers have observed that mothers of unmedicated hyperactive children use more d i r e c t i v e strategies and are less p o s i t i v e than mothers of normal children i n mother-child interactions (Campbell, 1975; Cunningham & Barkley, 1979; Mash & Johnston, 1982). Childhood aggression has also been linked to maternal h o s t i l i t y , negativism, and power-assertion (Loney, Langhorne & Paternite, 1978; Olweus, 1980). Such research suggests that a relat i o n s h i p exists between parent behavior and c h i l d behavior problems. 3 Patterson (1976) provides a conceptual basis for t h i s l i n k . He describes the "coercive interactions" i n which dysfunctional families commonly fi n d themselves embroiled. He suggests that these interactions are maintained as deviant c h i l d behavior and maladaptive parenting s t y l e s are mutually reinforced. For instance, the c h i l d learns that i f he throws a temper tantrum, he i s l i k e l y to be reinforced by parent attention or withdrawal of demand because his parents have learned that they are rewarded by the termination of the unpleasant tantrum i f they attend to or give i n to t h e i r c h i l d ' s demands. Patterson (1986) has offered empirical evidence in support of t h i s theory of c h i l d deviance. In a path analysis of observed parent and c h i l d behavior, i t was revealed that poor parental monitoring and inept d i s c i p l i n e accounted for a s i g n i f i c a n t amount of the variance involved in the development and maintenance of c h i l d deviance. Thus, there appears to be both empirical and t h e o r e t i c a l support for the l i n k between parent behavior and c h i l d behavior. Reciprocity of Influence It i s important to recognize that presumptions regarding the d i r e c t i o n a l i t y of e f f e c t s i n parent-child interactions are l i k e l y to be premature at t h i s time. Patterson's (1986) conceptualization of the parent-child r e l a t i o n s h i p in dysfunctional families i s in keeping with the b i d i r e c t i o n a l model proposed by B e l l and Harper (1977). This model replaced t r a d i t i o n a l views, that emphasized s o l e l y parent influence, with a more comprehensive framework 4 for understanding parent-child exchanges. B e l l and Harper (1977) suggest that children and t h e i r parents assert r e c i p r o c a l patterns of influence upon one another. This newer t h e o r e t i c a l conceptualization has also received empirical support. For instance, Barkley and Cunningham (1979) found that mothers of hyperactive children displayed fewer negative parenting strategies when t h e i r c h i l d was on stimulant medication than when the c h i l d was not medicated, suggesting that the maternal behavior was, at least in part, determined by drug-related changes in the c h i l d behavior. Such evidence suggests that t r a d i t i o n a l models focussing exclusively on parent influence may not o f f e r s u f f i c i e n t breadth to explain parent-child interactions. Bugental and Shennum (1984) have b u i l t upon t h i s model of r e c i p r o c i t y . They suggest that these parent-child behavioral exchanges may be f a c i l i t a t e d by parent perceptions of the c h i l d . That i s , the way in which an adult reacts to the ch i l d ' s behavior may be a function of the b e l i e f s that he/she holds about that c h i l d ' s manageability. Further, these researchers showed that the parents or adults act in a way that e l i c i t s c h i l d behavior that f u l f i l s the adult b e l i e f s . The evidence reported by Bugental and Shennum (1984) supports the notion that r e c i p r o c i t y theory also has a place in the domain of parent perceptions. In general, the b i d i r e c t i o n a l model has become widely accepted and provides a working framework for the study of parent-child relationships. 5 The parent perceptions - parent behavior r e l a t i o n s h i p Unlike the diagnosis of adult psychopathology, the assessment of c h i l d deviance i s dependent more upon the reports of parents and other s i g n i f i c a n t adults than on the responses of the target i n d i v i d u a l . A va r i e t y of r a t i n g scales have been developed for the purpose of determining c h i l d psychopathology on the basis of parental report (e.g., Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1978; Conners, 1970; Quay & Peterson, 1979). I t i s apparent that much of the c l i n i c a l evaluation of children i s based on parent perceptions of c h i l d behavior, rather than observed c h i l d behavior. In response to t h i s , considerable research interest has been focussed on parent perceptions of c h i l d behavior. For example, i n a study comparing c l i n i c - r e f e r r e d and nonreferred children, Griest, Forehand, Wells and McMahon (1980) found that, compared to observations of c h i l d behavior, maternal perceptions of c h i l d behavior were better discriminators of c l i n i c and nonclinic status. That i s , i t was the mothers' perceptions, rather than the behavior of the c h i l d as judged by objective observers, that determined whether or not the c h i l d was referred for treatment. Parent perceptions may have an impact, not only on the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the c h i l d as problematic, but also on the way i n which parents interact with t h e i r children. In the parenting l i t e r a t u r e , the term perception refers to the adult's view of the a c c e p t a b i l i t y of the c h i l d ' s behavior and the extent to which the c h i l d was deemed to have 6 executed these behaviors i n t e n t i o n a l l y (Bauer & Twentyman, 1985; Middlebrook & Forehand, 1986). The notion of causal a t t r i b u t i o n s , as outlined by Weiner (1979), i s therefore encompassed in t h i s d e f i n i t i o n . Recently, researchers have begun to explore the r e l a t i o n s h i p between parent perceptions of the c h i l d and parent behavior. Dix and Grusec (1985) found support for the notion that parents' a t t r i b u t i o n s for c h i l d behavior change with the development of the c h i l d . S p e c i f i c a l l y , parents found c h i l d misbehavior to be more in t e n t i o n a l , d i s p o s i t i o n a l and upsetting with increasing c h i l d age. In addition, they found that, although the s p e c i f i c action chosen i n response to c h i l d behavior may be a function of i n d i v i d u a l values and experiences, parent a t t r i b u t i o n s influence the p r o b a b i l i t y and i n t e n s i t y of the response. There i s also evidence in the c h i l d abuse l i t e r a t u r e that a r e l a t i o n s h i p exists between parent perceptions of the c h i l d and abusive parent behavior. Reid, Kavanagh and Baldwin (1987) used behavioral observation techniques and parent reports to determine differences between abusive and non-abusive families along the dimensions of observed c h i l d behavior and perceptions of c h i l d behavior. Parent report of c h i l d behavior d i f f e r e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y between groups. When compared with ratings of non-abusive families, abusive parents i n t h i s sample perceived more conduct problems in t h e i r children. However, these researchers found few s i g n i f i c a n t differences in the c h i l d or parent behaviors of 7 these two groups as judged by professional independent observers. Larrance and Twentyman (1983) measured mothers perceptions of t h e i r c h i l d ' s behavior along Weiner's dimensions of s t a b i l i t y and locus of control (internal versus external). They found that mothers with a previous his t o r y of abusive behavior made d i f f e r e n t a t t r i b u t i o n s for t h e i r c h i l d ' s misbehavior than those with no hist o r y of c h i l d maltreatment. Abusive mothers attributed t h e i r c h i l d ' s good behavior to unstable and external factors and perceived t h e i r c h i l d ' s transgressions to be caused by stable and inter n a l sources. The normal mothers indicated a completely opposite pattern of responses (e.g., i n t e r n a l , stable a t t r i b u t i o n s for p o s i t i v e c h i l d behavior; external, unstable a t t r i b u t i o n s for negative c h i l d behavior). In a si m i l a r study, Bauer and Twentyman (1985) investigated the att r i b u t i o n s made by a sample of abusive, neglectful and normal mothers and found that the mothers who had demonstrated abusive parent behavior in the past were more apt to interpret c h i l d behavior as malevolent than were other mothers. The researchers hypothesize that t h i s type of f a u l t y a t t r i b u t i o n for c h i l d behavior may aid in the p r e c i p i t a t i o n of family violence. Thus, a l i n k between parent perceptions of c h i l d behavior and parent behavior i s supported in the l i t e r a t u r e . Factors a f f e c t i n g parent behavior and perceptions Given t h i s l i n k between parent and c h i l d behavior, and the role that parent perceptions appear to play i n mediating 8 t h i s l i n k , i t i s important to i d e n t i f y factors that may be related to parent behavior and/or perceptions of c h i l d behavior. The l i t e r a t u r e suggests that parent behavior and perceptions of c h i l d behavior are affected by a vari e t y of factors that may be conceptually grouped into two broad areas: personal c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of parents and environmental conditions. Personal c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s would include variables such as parent mood, age, parenting experience and chil d - r e a r i n g attitudes. Environmental conditions relevant to parent behavior might include l e v e l of external stress, available s o c i a l support, and the p a r t i c u l a r parenting s i t u a t i o n . These two broad areas are obviously overlapping and nonindependent, but the d i s t i n c t i o n provides a useful h e u r i s t i c for conceptualizing the influences on parent perceptions of c h i l d behavior and parent behavior. In the present paper, parent psychopathology, s p e c i f i c a l l y depressed mood, and stress, s p e c i f i c a l l y d a i l y hassles and global l i f e events, w i l l serve as the factors representing these two broad areas. Personal c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , parent behavior and c h i l d deviance Parent psychopathology i s a personological variable that i s commonly associated with family dysfunction and c h i l d behavior problems. Much of the empirical study in t h i s area has been focussed on the psychological functioning of parents of c l i n i c - r e f e r r e d children. For instance, Goodstein and Rowley (1961) showed that mothers of disturbed children, p a r t i c u l a r l y acting-out children, displayed more 9 maladjustment on the MMPI than did mothers of normal children. S i m i l a r l y , Patterson (1982) found that mothers of socially-aggressive children demonstrated higher MMPI p r o f i l e s than mothers of normal children. In a study comparing families of hyperactive and normal children, Befera and Barkley (1985) showed that mothers of hyperactive childre n reported s i g n i f i c a n t l y more depressive symptomatology than those of normal children. These studies serve to demonstrate the l i n k between parent c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and c h i l d behavior within families of c l i n i c - r e f e r r e d children. Other studies in t h i s area have focussed on the c h i l d -rearing practices of parents exhibiting some degree of psychopathology. Lobitz and Johnson (1975) found that, within t h e i r sample, elevations in parent responses on several MMPI scales were related to both observed parent negativeness toward the c h i l d and to observed c h i l d deviant behavior. Others suggest that mothers demonstrating psychopathology exhibit parent behavior that i s characterized by emotional detachment from the c h i l d , a denial of c h i l d care concerns, low rates of interaction, and a lack of appreciation for a recip r o c a l mother-child re l a t i o n s h i p (Baldwin, Cole & Baldwin, 1982; Cohler, Grunebaum, Weiss, Hartman & Gallant, 1976). Empirical study in t h i s area demonstrates a relat i o n s h i p between parent psychopathology and c h i l d deviance, and suggests that t h i s association i s mediated by parent behavior. 10 Depressed mood and parent behavior Researchers have begun to recognize the need for further s p e c i f i c a t i o n of the type of parent psychopathology most often associated with parent and c h i l d problems. The existence of depressed mood, es p e c i a l l y among mothers, has been repeatedly i d e n t i f i e d as a factor associated with poor parent-child relationships ( B i l l i n g s & Moos, 1983; Cohler, Grunebaum, Weiss, Garner & Gallant, 1977; Cohn & Tronick, 1983; Weissman, Paykel & Klerman, 1972). Two d i f f e r e n t research methodologies have been u t i l i z e d to assess the impact of depressed mood on parent behavior. F i r s t , there exists a cl u s t e r of studies that u t i l i z e deviant c h i l d populations and assess the degree of depressed mood and/or parent-child c o n f l i c t in the families of these children. It i s important to note that these studies involve parents who vary along a continuum of depressive symptomatology or depressed mood, and may or may not exhibit c l i n i c a l l e v e l s of depression. Researchers have found that mothers of c l i n i c - r e f e r r e d children report s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher l e v e l s of depressed mood than mothers of normal children (Griest et a l . , 1980; Rickard, Forehand, Wells, Griest & McMahon, 1981). Consistent with the sex r a t i o in the general population, depressed mood appears to be more prevalent among mothers than fathers of c l i n i c - r e f e r r e d children (Cunningham, Benness & Siegal, 1988). In a recent study, Cunningham and his colleagues (1988) found that mothers of hyperactive children reported s i g n i f i c a n t l y 11 higher l e v e l s of depressed mood than did mothers of normal children. The fathers of hyperactive children had depression scores that were indistinguishable from those of parents with normal children (Cunningham et a l . , 1988). Webster-Stratton (1988) also assessed differences between mothers and fathers of conduct disordered children i n terms of the re l a t i o n s h i p between depressed mood and parent behavior. She showed that mothers who had higher depression scores used more commands and c r i t i c i s m s when in t e r a c t i n g with t h e i r children than did those with low scores on the depression scale. The parenting behavior displayed by fathers was unrelated to self-reported depressed mood. Such studies reveal that a relationship exists between c h i l d deviance, maternal behavior, and maternal depressed mood. A second type of study examining t h i s l i n k between maternal depression and c h i l d behavior focuses upon parent-c h i l d interactions in the families of c l i n i c a l l y - d e p r e s s e d adults. For instance, B i l l i n g and Moos (1983) showed that children from families with a depressed parent had s i g n i f i c a n t l y more behavior problems, as reported by parents, than children in nondepressed homes. Moreover, these researchers indicated that maternal depression was associated with family c o n f l i c t . S i m i l a r l y , Hammen and her colleagues (Hammen, Gordon, Burge, Adrian, Jaenicke & Hiroto, 1987) found maternal a f f e c t i v e disorder to be related to the diagnosis of behavior problems, school 12 problems and s o c i a l competence d i f f i c u l t i e s i n t h e i r children. Other investigators have u t i l i z e d t h i s second methodological strategy to examine the l i n k between maternal depression and parent behavior. For example, Weissman and Paykel (1974) reported that the depressed mothers i n t h e i r sample had d i f f i c u l t y communicating with t h e i r children, f e l t a lack of a f f e c t i o n toward them, and expressed overt h o s t i l i t y i n t h e i r interactions with them. Cohler et a l . (1977) also found that emotional detachment, feelings of resentment, and the expression of overt h o s t i l i t y towards children were c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the parent behavior demonstrated by depressed mothers. Some researchers suggest that depressed mothers are unable to control t h e i r children because they lack adaptive assertion s k i l l s and tend to avoid necessary confrontational situations (Kochanska, Kucynski, Radke-Yarrow & Welsh, 1987). Through the use of behavioral coding systems, other researchers have been able to i d e n t i f y that maternal depression covaries with the use of negative commands and aversive mother-child interactions (Forehand, Lautenschlager, Faust & Graziano, 1986; Patterson, 1982; Webster-Stratton & Hammen, 1988). More decisive evidence regarding the impact of depressed mood on parent-child interactions has evolved out of studies i n which a depressed mood i s induced in mothers p r i o r to a behavioral observation session. Zekoski, O'Hara and W i l l s (1987) u t i l i z e d the Velten mood induction 13 p r o c e d u r e t o e l i c i t a d e p r e s s e d s t a t e i n a group o f mothers. Other mothers were a s s i g n e d t o one o f two c o n t r o l c o n d i t i o n s : a e u p h o r i a - i n d u c t i o n group and a n o - i n d u c t i o n group. D u r i n g t h e i n t e r a c t i o n s e s s i o n , o b s e r v e r s n o t e d t h a t i n f a n t s o f t h e d e p r e s s i o n - i n d u c e d mothers became d i s t r e s s e d and were l e s s c o n t i n g e n t l y r e s p o n s i v e t o t h e i r mothers t h a n were c h i l d r e n i n t h e o t h e r groups. Moreover, mothers i n t h e d e p r e s s i o n - i n d u c t i o n group were r a t e d as l e s s a b l e t o e l i c i t p o s i t i v e i n f a n t r e s p o n s e s t h a n were mothers i n t h e c o n t r o l c o n d i t i o n s . These r e s u l t s s u ggest t h a t m a t e r n a l d e p r e s s e d mood d i s r u p t s m o t h e r - i n f a n t i n t e r a c t i o n s . I n summary, s u p p o r t f o r t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between m a t e r n a l d e p r e s s e d mood, p a r e n t b e h a v i o r and c h i l d d e v i a n c e e x i s t s i n t h e l i t e r a t u r e . I t i s i m p o r t a n t t o r e c o g n i z e , however, t h a t , w i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n o f t h e mood i n d u c t i o n s t u d i e s , many o f t h e s t u d i e s i n v o l v e d a r e c o r r e l a t i o n a l i n n a t u r e , and, as such, t h e d i r e c t i o n o f c a u s a l i t y cannot be d e t e r m i n e d . That i s , i t i s u n c l e a r a t t h i s t i m e whether m a t e r n a l d e p r e s s i o n causes c h i l d b e h a v i o r problems o r whether c h i l d b e h a v i o r problems cause m a t e r n a l d e p r e s s i o n . The d e p r e s s e d mood - p e r c e p t i o n s o f c h i l d b e h a v i o r  r e l a t i o n s h i p As d i s c u s s e d p r e v i o u s l y , p a r e n t s ' p e r c e p t i o n s o f c h i l d b e h a v i o r a r e an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f t h e l a b e l l i n g and r e f e r r a l p r o c e s s . G i v e n t h e f i n d i n g t h a t m a t e r n a l p e r c e p t i o n s o f c h i l d b e h a v i o r a r e t h e b e s t d i s c r i m i n a t o r o f c l i n i c and n o n c l i n i c s t a t u s ( G r i e s t e t a l . , 1980), many r e s e a r c h e r s 14 have begun to focus on the factors that influence these perceptions. In nonclinic families, parent perceptions appear to be primarily influenced by the behavior exhibited by the c h i l d (Griest et a l . , 1980). Researchers have shown that within c l i n i c - r e f e r r e d families however, parent perceptions are not based s o l e l y on the ch i l d ' s overt behavior (Brody & Forehand, 1986; Friedlander, Weiss & Traylor, 1986; Griest et a l . , 1980). Much attention has been given to the search for other relevant influences. Repeatedly, researchers have demonstrated that a rel a t i o n s h i p exists between maternal depressed mood and perceptions of c h i l d behavior (Forehand et a l . , 1986; Forehand, Wells, McMahon, Griest & Rogers, 1982; Griest, Wells & Forehand, 1979; Rogers & Forehand, 1983). Some of t h i s research has concluded that maternal depressed mood i s the sole determinant of parent perceptions among c l i n i c f amilies and that c h i l d behavior f a i l s to make any s i g n i f i c a n t contribution (Forehand, Wells, McMahon, Griest & Rogers, 1982; Griest et a l . , 1979; Rogers & Forehand, 1983). Other research suggests that i t i s a combination of these two factors.that determines parent perceptions (Brody & Forehand, 1986; Griest et a l . , 1980). In an attempt to discern the r e l a t i v e contributions of depressed mood and observed c h i l d behavior to maternal perceptions of a c h i l d as deviant, Rickard et a l . (1981) compared samples of c l i n i c referred deviant, c l i n i c referred non-deviant, and nonclinic children and mothers on both home 15 observations and parent questionnaires. Children were assigned to the c l i n i c deviant group when t h e i r behavior was deemed inappropriate by trained independent observers. These researchers found that parents i n both c l i n i c groups perceived t h e i r children as more maladjusted than parents in the n o n - c l i n i c groups. Among the c l i n i c samples, parents in the c l i n i c non-deviant group showed s i g n i f i c a n t l y more depression than those i n the remaining two groups. Differences between the c l i n i c groups were also found i n the parent-child interactions observed. Parents i n the C l i n i c Deviant groups issued more vague, interrupted commands than those i n the C l i n i c Non-deviant group. This implies that among c l i n i c referred families, there i s a subset of parents who may erroneously perceive t h e i r children as deviant and these biased perceptions appear to be related to the presence of depressed mood. This study i l l u s t r a t e s how parent depressed mood may play an i n f l u e n t i a l r o l e i n determining perceptions of c h i l d behavior. Environmental conditions, parent behavior and c h i l d deviance Systems theory would suggest that family functioning does not occur in a s o c i a l vacuum. Rather, i t i s hypothesized that there ex i s t factors in the host environment that influence family practices and ways of thinking (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Patterson, 1983). For instance, researchers have demonstrated that descriptive variables, such as socioeconomic status (Anastasiow, Hanes & Hanes, 1982; Segal, 1985; Skinner, 1985) and the degree of 16 m a t e r n a l s o c i a l s u p p o r t e x p e r i e n c e d (Dumas & Wahler, 1983; Wahler, 1980), a r e r e l a t e d t o p a r e n t b e h a v i o r . There i s e v i d e n c e t o s u g g e s t t h a t s t r e s s i s a key e n v i r o n m e n t a l f a c t o r i n f l u e n c i n g p a r e n t b e h a v i o r and c h i l d d e v i a n c e ( G i l , 1970; Hammen e t a l . , 1987; P a t t e r s o n , 1983; Wahler & Sansbury, 1988; W e b s t e r - S t r a t t o n , 1988; Weinraub & A n s u l , 1984; W o l f e , F a i r b a n k , K e l l y & B r a d l e y , 1983). S t r e s s as an e n v i r o n m e n t a l v a r i a b l e S t r e s s i s a v a r i a b l e t h a t has c a p t u r e d t h e a t t e n t i o n o f r e s e a r c h e r s a c r o s s s e v e r a l d i s c i p l i n e s . As a r e s u l t o f t h e d i v e r s i t y o f t h e c o n t e x t s i n which i t i s c o n s i d e r e d , t h e co n c e p t has d e r i v e d a v a r i e t y o f meanings ( L a z a r u s , DeLongis, Folkman & Gruen, 1985). As i t p e r t a i n s t o c l i n i c a l p s y c h o l o g y , s t r e s s may be b e s t u n d e r s t o o d as t h e e x p e r i e n c e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h e x t e r n a l , s i t u a t i o n a l c o n d i t i o n s t h a t t a x an i n d i v i d u a l . The s t r e s s - c o p i n g model proposed by L a z a r u s and h i s c o l l e a g u e s (Coyne & DeLongis, 1986; Folkman & L a z a r u s , 1980; L a z a r u s & Folkman, 1984; Folkman, L a z a r u s , D u n k e l - S c h e t t e r , DeLongis & Gruen, 198 6) p r o v i d e s t h e framework f o r much o f t h e r e s e a r c h i n t h i s a r e a . I d e n t i f i e d i n t h i s model a r e two p r o c e s s e s , c o g n i t i v e a p p r a i s a l and c o p i n g , t h a t a r e s a i d t o media t e e n v i r o n m e n t a l s t r e s s and i t s impact on w e l l - b e i n g . C o g n i t i v e a p p r a i s a l i n v o l v e s t h e way i n whi c h a s t r e s s f u l e n c o u n t e r i s p e r c e i v e d . L a z a r u s and Folkman (1984) s u g g e s t t h a t t h i s p r o c e s s i s a key i n g r e d i e n t i n t h e r e c o v e r y o f i n d i v i d u a l s s u b j e c t e d t o a t a x i n g e n v i r o n m e n t a l e v e n t . 17 Coping i s a term that refers to an i n d i v i d u a l ' s e f f o r t s to manage a s t r e s s f u l experience. These e f f o r t s may be c l a s s i f i e d as either problem-focussed (based upon cognitive or behavioral e f f o r t s to meet the demands of the stressor) or emotion-focussed (based upon attempts to ease the negative feelings associated with the stressor) (Folkman & Lazarus, 1980). Although causal l i n k s have yet to be empirically demonstrated, on the basis of cross-sectional data, Folkman and her colleagues (Folkman et a l . , 1986) speculated that an individual's appraisal of the s t r e s s f u l event influences his/her choice of coping strategy. This in turn a f f e c t s his/her long- and short-term well-being. A b i d i r e c t i o n a l influence i s also recognized. That i s , as the coping process progresses, cognitive appraisal may be altered. Such causal speculation i s i n t u i t i v e l y appealing and, i n t e r e s t i n g l y , p a r a l l e l s the pathways commonly advanced in the area of parenting. That i s , cognitive appraisal of a s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n and parent perception of c h i l d behavior both play an intermediate role i n the event-behavior sequence and are both subject to the same biases. Further, the choice of parent behavior may be influenced by parent perceptions in much the same way that reaction to a s t r e s s f u l event i s mediated by cognitive appraisal (LaRose, Wolfe & Mattaroccia, 1986). This model constitutes the foundation upon which contemporary views of stress are based. 18 Lazarus and his associates consider only negative events to be s t r e s s f u l . These researchers suggest that p o s i t i v e l i f e events counteract the feelings of stress caused by negative l i f e events by acting as a type of buffer. This contemporary perspective i s i n c o n f l i c t with early work i n the stress l i t e r a t u r e that adhered to the notion that any event, regardless of i t s perceived d e s i r a b i l i t y (positive or negative), asserted a s t r e s s f u l impact on the in d i v i d u a l (Holmes & Masuda, 1974). Empirical evidence exists in support of Lazarus' claim. Vinokur and Selzer (1975) found that only negative l i f e changes on the Schedule of Recent Events (SRE; Rahe, Meyer, Smith, Kjaer & Holmes, 1964) were related to self-reported depression, anxiety and tension. Positive change could not be linked to these measures. More recently developed scales, such as the L i f e Experience Survey (LES; Sarason, Johnson & Siegal, 1978), have attempted to circumvent t h i s controversy by asking respondents to indicate the valence of d e s i r a b i l i t y (positive or negative) associated with experienced events. Levels of stress - d a i l y hassles and global l i f e events Within the context of external stressors, two l e v e l s of the construct may be rea d i l y i d e n t i f i e d . F i r s t , potent, although presumably infrequent, events are assumed to be related to an individual's functioning. Researchers have linked the experience of major l i f e trauma with a change in health status. Using retrospective studies, researchers have found a rel a t i o n s h i p between l i f e change and myocardial 19 i n f a r c t i o n (Edwards, 1971; Thoeorell & Rahe, 1971) and sudden cardiac death (Rahe & Lind, 1971). In a prospective study, Rahe (1968) divided 2,500 naval o f f i c e r s into high r i s k and low r i s k individuals on the basis of l i f e change scores for a period of six months. Those i d e n t i f i e d as high r i s k reported more i l l n e s s e s each month following the l i f e events assessment and had one t h i r d more i l l n e s s e s during the follow-up period than the low r i s k group. Holmes and Masuda (1974) proposed that the r i s k of health change increased with increased magnitude of l i f e c r i s e s . These authors concluded that the greater the l i f e change, the greater the i n d i v i d u a l ' s v u l n e r a b i l i t y to disease and the more severe the disease that i s incurred. There are a number of scales i n existence that claim to measure global l i f e events. The Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS; Holmes & Rahe, 1967) and the LES (Sarason et a l . , 1978) are two of the more widely used indices. Recently, researchers have i d e n t i f i e d a second l e v e l of stress. I t has been hypothesized that r e l a t i v e l y minor events of d a i l y l i v i n g also have an impact on an i n d i v i d u a l ' s l e v e l of functioning. Some researchers have provided support for the notion that these small l i f e events, termed d a i l y hassles, are better predictors of health outcomes and of psychological d i s t r e s s than are major l i f e events (DeLongis, Coyne, Dakof, Folkman & Lazarus, 1982; Kanner, Coyne, Schaefer & Lazarus, 1981; Monroe, 1983; Weinberger, Hiner & Tierney, 1987; Zarski, 1984). For 20 instance, using a middle-aged community sample, DeLongis et a l . (1982) found that the frequency and i n t e n s i t y of d a i l y hassles reported was more strongly related to physical health than were l i f e event scores. S p e c i f i c a l l y , high l e v e l s of d a i l y stress were found to be associated with health problems such as f l u , headaches and backaches (DeLongis, Folkman & Lazarus, 1988). S i m i l a r l y , Kanner et a l . (1981) found a s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p between d a i l y hassles and psychological functioning. DeLongis et a l . (1982) suggests that hassles are more relevant because they are more proximal for the i n d i v i d u a l than the d i s t a l global l i f e events. A number of scales have been developed to measure d a i l y hassles. These include: Daily Stress Inventory (Brantley, Waggoner, Jones & Rappaport, 1987), Daily Hassles Scale (DeLongis, Folkman & Lazarus, 1988; Kanner et a l . , 1981) and Inventory of S t r e s s f u l L i f e Events (Zautra, Guarnaccia & Dohrenwend, 1986). This b r i e f summary of the l i t e r a t u r e regarding the e f f e c t s of stress suggests that both global l i f e events and d a i l y hassles a f f e c t both physical and mental health. The stress - parent behavior rel a t i o n s h i p The l i t e r a t u r e suggests that parent behavior i s linked to the stress incurred i n the family's environment. Most of the studies in t h i s area operationalize stress through the use of global l i f e event rating scales such as the SRRS and the LES. For instance, using a sample of families with conduct disordered children, Webster-Stratton (1988) found 21 that mothers who reported high l e v e l s of negative l i f e stress on the LES issued more commands and used more c r i t i c a l or negative physical behaviors when in t e r a c t i n g with t h e i r c h i l d than nonstressed mothers. In keeping with t h i s notion that poor parenting i s linked to environmental stress, Webster-Stratton (1985) found that those parents who f a i l e d to benefit from parent t r a i n i n g treatment programs reported higher l e v e l s of negative l i f e events and fewer p o s i t i v e l i f e events than parents who were successful in therapy. Further evidence for the l i n k between maladaptive parent behavior and stress appears i n the c h i l d abuse l i t e r a t u r e . For instance, Gaines, Sandgrund, Green and Power (1978) showed that environmental stress i s associated with harsher maternal d i s c i p l i n e , including physical abuse. Using the SRRS, Jus t i c e and J u s t i c e (197 6) found that abusive parents had experienced s i g n i f i c a n t l y more change during the 12 months p r i o r to t h e i r abusive episode than did non-abusing parents over the same time period. These researchers suggest that due to the frequency of occurrence of negative events among abusive parents, these individuals have no opportunity to gather t h e i r resources before a new c r i s i s a r i s e s . Lahey, Conger, Atkeson and Trieber (1984) found that mothers with a history of abuse reported more stre s s - r e l a t e d symptoms of depression and emotional/physical d i s t r e s s than controls. These researchers hypothesize that 22 the mothers experiencing stress have a lower threshold for c h i l d misbehavior and therefore respond more intensely. There e x i s t popular models of c h i l d abuse that implicate stress as the causal agent i n the development of maladaptive parent behavior. The environmental stress model ( G i l , 1970) maintains that factors such as poverty, poor education and occupational s t r a i n weaken parental s e l f -control and p r e c i p i t a t e family violence. Straus (1980) presents a more refined version of t h i s model. He outlines a series of mediating variables that are prerequisite for the t r a n s i t i o n of stress to violence (eg. b a r r i e r s to alt e r n a t i v e responses to c o n f l i c t such as leaving the s i t u a t i o n ) . Most of the theories of c h i l d abuse that implicate environmental factors i d e n t i f y stress as the major contributing variable in the p r e c i p i t a t i o n or maintenance of family violence. Using a sample of single mothers, Weinraub and her colleagues (Weinraub & Ansul, 1984; Weinraub & Wolf, 1983) found that during behavioral observation periods, mothers who reported more stress on the SRRS communicated less optimally, demonstrated less maternal nurturance and tended to have children who were less compliant than mothers who reported lower l e v e l s of l i f e event stress. Longfellow, Zelkowitz and Saunders (1983) explored the mother - c h i l d r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n a sample of mothers who reported either high or low le v e l s of stress in t h e i r environment. Mothers who reported high l e v e l s of stress described environments 23 that were characterized by a high incidence of stressors that occurred at both a global and a d a i l y l e v e l . However, the authors did not i d e n t i f y or discriminate between these l e v e l s of stress. Using a modified version of the Transcultural Code for the Social Behavior of Children (Whiting, 1968), these researchers found that mothers experiencing high l e v e l s of stress displayed nonnurturant, nonresponsive and negative behavior in t h e i r interactions with t h e i r children. Given that these researchers had access to d e t a i l e d information, i t would have been in t e r e s t i n g had they noted the d i f f e r e n t i a l impact of global versus d a i l y stress. Nevertheless, such studies are valuable in that they suggest that stress has an impact on family functioning even within normal samples. A number of theories have been proposed to account for the l i n k between stress and parent behavior i n general. In an analogue study with normal families, Zussman (1980) demonstrated that competing cognitive a c t i v i t y had an impact on parent behavior. S p e c i f i c a l l y , he found that when parents were asked to attend to a task and to monitor t h e i r children's play simultaneously, they exhibited a pattern of i n e f f e c t i v e "minimal" parenting. That i s , when stressed by cognitive demands, parents withdrew p o s i t i v e behaviors such as responsiveness, support and stimulation and increased negative responses such as interference, c r i t i c i s m and punishment. The generalization of these findings to actual family s i t u a t i o n s i s obvious. Wahler and Sansbury (1988) 24 hypothesize that a mother's coercive interchanges with her c h i l d ("figural stimulus") and the s t r e s s f u l events i n other areas of her l i f e ("contextual stimulus") are related to her s k i l l i n describing figure-context patterns ("surveillance"). That i s , they suggest that mothers who experience high f i g u r a l and contextual stimulation demonstrate poor surveillance monitoring a b i l i t i e s . These researchers emphasize the importance of se t t i n g events in maternal behavior. Patterson (1986) proposes that the coercive interactions of dysfunctional families are exacerbated by the experience of e x t r a f a m i l i a l stressors. He speculates that i n e f f i c i e n t problem solving s k i l l s maintain t h i s maladaptive cycle. Support for t h i s postulation i s derived from a study (Patterson, 1983) i n which maternal s t r e s s f u l encounters were correlated with coercive interactions between parent and c h i l d . Each of these theories o f f e r s a unique contribution to the conceptualization of stress as i t relates to c h i l d behavior. It i s possible to see, however, that the underlying l o g i c i s consistent across theories. Like Lahey and his colleagues (Lahey et a l . , 1984), these researchers adhere to the notion that parent behavior must be viewed from a systemic perspective. E s s e n t i a l l y , environmental conditions compete with the c h i l d for attention and therefore i n t e r f e r e with the adult's capacity to parent. It i s apparent that stress and parent behavior are linked. To date, however, l i t t l e attention has been given to an evaluation of the types of 25 stress, global l i f e events versus d a i l y hassles, that have the greatest impact on parent behavior. The stress - parent perceptions rel a t i o n s h i p There has also been empirical work i n support of the l i n k between stress and parent perceptions of c h i l d behavior. In an analogue study, Middlebrook and Forehand (1986) investigated the maternal perceptions of deviance i n c h i l d behavior as a function of stress. They discovered that i n written vignettes depicting neutral c h i l d behavior that occurs under highly s t r e s s f u l conditions, mothers rate the behavior to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y more deviant than when the same behavior occurs with a backdrop of low stress. There i s empirical evidence to suggest that mothers who report high l e v e l s of stress in t h e i r l i v e s perceive t h e i r children to be more deviant than non-stressed mothers. For example, Webster-Stratton (1988) found that mothers who reported more negative l i f e stress on the LES rated t h e i r children as more deviant than low-stressed mothers. Crnic and Greenberg (1985) measured the d a i l y hassles associated with parenting and found that the frequency and i n t e n s i t y of t h i s d a i l y stress was related to parent report of i n t e r n a l i z i n g and externalizing disorders on the Child Behavior Checklist (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1983). More negative behaviors were reported by parents when ratings of d a i l y hassles were high. F i n a l l y , Furey and Forehand (1982) found that mothers who were distressed reported less s a t i s f a c t i o n with t h e i r children. Such findings suggest 26 t h a t p a r e n t p e r c e p t i o n s o f c h i l d b e h a v i o r may be l i n k e d t o t h e s t r e s s o c c u r r i n g i n t h e f a m i l y system. The R o l e o f P a r e n t A f f e c t Throughout t h i s d i s c u s s i o n , emphasis has been p l a c e d on t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f c e r t a i n v a r i a b l e s t o p a r e n t b e h a v i o r and p a r e n t p e r c e p t i o n s o f c h i l d b e h a v i o r . I n k e e p i n g w i t h t h e t r i p a r t i t e model o f assessment (Herson & B e l l a c k , 1981; Lang, 1971; Mash & T e r d a l , 1981), a t h i r d component o f p a r e n t f u n c t i o n i n g , p a r e n t a f f e c t , s h o u l d a l s o be c o n s i d e r e d . T h i s model a d v o c a t e s m u l t i m o d a l assessment and s t r e s s e s t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f s a m p l i n g b e h a v i o r a l , c o g n i t i v e and a f f e c t i v e r e s p o n s e s . Of t h e t h r e e components o f t h e p a r e n t i n g r e s p o n s e , a f f e c t appears t o have r e c e i v e d t h e l e a s t e m p i r i c a l a t t e n t i o n . D e s p i t e t h e f a c t t h a t a few c l i n i c a l l y u s e f u l measures o f a f f e c t have r e c e n t l y been i n t r o d u c e d , i n s t r u m e n t s t a p p i n g b e h a v i o r a l and c o g n i t i v e d i m e n s i o n s o f p a r e n t i n g f a r outnumber t h o s e a s s e s s i n g p a r e n t a l a f f e c t ( L i n e h a n , P a u l & Egan, 1983). T h i s domain remains p r i m a r i l y w i t h i n t h e r e a l m o f e m p i r i c a l s t u d y . T y p i c a l l y , s t u d i e s t a p t h i s d i m e n s i o n t h r o u g h t h e use o f s i m p l e s c a l e s d e s i g n e d t o r e f l e c t t h e degree o f e m o t i o n a l a r o u s a l a s s o c i a t e d w i t h some e x p e r i m e n t a l m a n i p u l a t i o n (Bauer & Twentyman, 1985; D i x , R u b l e , Grusec & N i x o n , 1986; LaRose e t a l . , 1986) F o r i n s t a n c e , i n a s t u d y o f p a r e n t a t t r i b u t i o n , D i x e t a l . (1986) measured p a r e n t s ' a f f e c t i v e r e a c t i o n s t o c h i l d m i s c o n d u c t . These r e s e a r c h e r s found t h a t p a r e n t a f f e c t was 27 associated with the causal a t t r i b u t i o n s that the parent made for the c h i l d behavior. S p e c i f i c a l l y , parents who perceived the c h i l d ' s behavior to be intentional and deliberate also reported negative a f f e c t on three l i k e r t - t y p e scales designed to tap t h i s dimension. It i s evident that t h i s i s a growing area but, to date, research i n parent behavior and cognition far exceeds the study of parent a f f e c t . A notable exception to the observation that there i s a dearth of research in the area of a f f e c t l i e s within the realm of c h i l d abuse where the assessment of emotion has been c r i t i c a l (Bauer & Twentyman, 1985; G i l , 1974; Wolfe et a l . , 1983). Within t h i s domain, emotional arousal has been implicated as a prec i p i t a n t of abusive episodes ( G i l , 1974). Wolfe and his colleagues (1983) tested t h i s hypothesis by measuring the physiological reactions of abusive and non-abusive mothers to s t r e s s f u l and non-stressful scenes of c h i l d behavior. Using measures such as skin conductance response magnitude and heart rate, these researchers found that abusive mothers displayed more emotional arousal in response to s t r e s s f u l c h i l d behavior scenes than non-abusive mothers. This research i s consistent with G i l ' s (1974) hypothesis that abusive mothers experience a heightened emotional s e n s i t i v i t y to s t r e s s f u l situations, which magnifies t h e i r r i s k for involvement i n abuse. In sum, i t i s proposed that the a f f e c t i v e , behavioral and cognitive domains of parenting should a l l be considered in that each appears to o f f e r a unique contribution to 2 8 u n d e r s t a n d i n g p a r e n t f u n c t i o n i n g . These d i m e n s i o n s a r e not m u t u a l l y e x c l u s i v e however, and, a r e b e s t viewed i n c o m b i n a t i o n t o o f f e r a p o s s i b l e model f o r t h e c r e a t i o n and maintenance o f m a l a d a p t i v e p a r e n t - c h i l d i n t e r a c t i o n s . S p e c i f i c a l l y , i t has been su g g e s t e d t h a t i f p a r e n t s p e r c e i v e t h e i r c h i l d ' s b e h a v i o r t o be d e v i a n t and i n t e n t i o n a l ( c o g n i t i v e d i m e n s i o n ) , t h e y may e x p e r i e n c e n e g a t i v e e m o t i o n a l a r o u s a l ( a f f e c t i v e dimension) which i n c r e a s e s t h e l i k e l i h o o d o f an i n t e n s e b e h a v i o r a l response ( b e h a v i o r a l dimension) ( D i x & Grusec, 1985; LaRose e t a l . , 1986). I n t h i s s t u d y , dependent measures were chosen t o r e p r e s e n t each of t h e components o f t h i s pathway. R a t i o n a l e I n t h e l i t e r a t u r e , t h e r e e x i s t s c o n s i d e r a b l e c o r r e l a t i o n a l d a t a t o suggest t h a t d e p r e s s e d mood and l i f e s t r e s s a r e r e l a t e d t o p a r e n t p e r c e p t i o n s o f c h i l d b e h a v i o r , e m o t i o n a l r e a c t i o n s t o t h i s b e h a v i o r , and b e h a v i o r a l r e s p o n s e s t o t h e b e h a v i o r . Through t h e e x p e r i m e n t a l m a n i p u l a t i o n o f t h e s t r e s s v a r i a b l e , t h e p r e s e n t s t u d y a t t e m p t e d t o t e s t one p o s s i b l e pathway o f i n f l u e n c e ; t h e c a u s a l impact o f s t r e s s on p a r e n t a f f e c t , b e h a v i o r and c o g n i t i o n s . F u r t h e r , p r e v i o u s s t u d i e s have f a i l e d t o s p e c i f y t h e t y p e o f s t r e s s t h a t i s most l i k e l y t o p l a y a r o l e i n p a r e n t i n g . The' p r e s e n t i n v e s t i g a t i o n a d d r e s s e d t h i s q u e s t i o n by i n c o r p o r a t i n g t h r e e l e v e l s o f s t r e s s i n t o t h e d e s i g n ( i . e . , g l o b a l l i f e e v e n t s , d a i l y h a s s l e s , and no 29 s t r e s s ) . Each of these stress conditions was evaluated i n r e l a t i o n to the three parenting domains. Depressed mood was u t i l i z e d as a between subjects c l a s s i f i c a t i o n v a r i a ble i n t h i s study. That i s , mothers were divided i n groups of r e l a t i v e l y high and r e l a t i v e l y low le v e l s of depressed mood. This c l a s s i f i c a t i o n allowed for the examination of the ef f e c t s of maternal depressed mood on the three domains of parenting response. In addition, in the no stress condition, i t was possible to compare the re l a t i o n s h i p found between depressed mood and the parenting variables with the co r r e l a t i o n a l r e s u l t s of previous studies. F i n a l l y , the design also allowed for the detection of possible i n t e r a c t i o n e f f e c t s between maternal l i f e stress and depressed mood. Hypotheses On the basis of previous research findings the following predictions were made for the present study: 1) Mothers would perceive the c h i l d behavior to be more deviant and int e n t i o n a l , would report greater emotional arousal, and more intense behavioral reactions when the c h i l d behavior was presented in the context of major l i f e events or d a i l y hassles than in the no stress control condition. Further, because d a i l y hassles are more proximal events, i t was postulated that mothers would score higher on a l l three scales following the d a i l y hassles vignettes than following global l i f e event vignettes. 30 2) Across stress conditions, mothers f a l l i n g into the low (depressed) mood category would demonstrate higher scores on a l l three parenting measures ( i . e . , a f f e c t i v e , behavioral, cognitive) than would mothers in the high (non-depressed) mood category. 3) S p e c i f i c hypotheses regarding in t e r a c t i o n e f f e c t s , or d i f f e r e n t i a l e f f e c t s across the three dependent measures were not made. J u s t i f i c a t i o n for sample A sample of single mothers participated i n t h i s study. Canadian census t r a c t s indicate that from 1971 to 1981 the number of single parent families increased from 480,000 to 714,000. This i s an increase of over 50%. Female-headed families made up the bulk of these single parent families (590,000 were females, 124,000 were males) (Davids, 1986). In general, single parent families u t i l i z e s o c i a l services more than t r a d i t i o n a l two parent families ( F e r r i , 1976). The problems faced by lone parents appear compounded when that parent i s female. This i s l i k e l y to be primarily due to economic r e a l i t i e s . The average salary of a single father i n Canada in 1981 was $23,000. For females, the average hovers around $14,000 (Davids, 1986). According to a recent U.S. study (Garfinkel & McLanahan, 1986), about half of the single mothers in that country are dependent on welfare and use a disproportionate share of mental health services. Brown and Harris (1978) indicate that lack of an 31 intimate r e l a t i o n s h i p with a husband and having children under 14 l i v i n g at home act as r i s k factors for maternal depression. In short, t h i s population appears to experience a disproportionate number of environmental stressors and+ mental health problems (Brown & Harris, 1978; Campbell, Cope & Teasdale, 1983). Further, the children who are raised i n single parent families may also be considered at r i s k for psychological d i f f i c u l t i e s . Researchers suggest that youngsters from single parent families, p a r t i c u l a r l y those who have experienced t h e i r parents' divorce, exhibit more noncompliance, aggression, and maladaptive behavior at both home and school than children from intact families, at least within two years of the divorce (Felner, Ginter, Boike & Cowen, 1981; Felner, Stolberg & Cowen, 1975; Hetherington, Cox & Cox, 1978; Hodges, Buchsbaum & Tierney, 1983; Kalter, 1977; McDermott, 1970; Schoette & Cantwell, 1980; Tuckman & Regan, 1966). It i s apparent that children from single parent families are l i k e l y to come into contact with mental health professionals. Given that single mothers are vulnerable to both depression and stress, and that t h e i r children are l i k e l y to pose behavior problems, the use of a sample of single mothers increases the external v a l i d i t y of t h i s study of the relationships among maternal depressed mood, l i f e stress and c h i l d behavior disorders. 32 Method Subjects Participants learned of the study through information sheets posted in public places throughout the Lower Mainland (e.g., community centers, laundromats, women centers, health centers, l i b r a r i e s , day care f a c i l i t i e s and campus b u l l e t i n boards). In addition, a written notice appeared i n the "Parent Advisory" column of a l o c a l newspaper and i n a monthly newsletter for the Big Brothers organization. Interested single mothers were asked to contact the Parenting Lab in the Psychology Department at The University of B r i t i s h Columbia to receive further information about the study. C a l l e r s were provided with a rationale and overview of the study. Basic descriptive information gathered during the i n i t i a l telephone contact determined e l i g i b i l i t y for the study. The mothers were required to be single parents over 18 years of age and to have at least one elementary school aged c h i l d i n the home ( i . e . , 5 - 12 years old). Mothers with l i v e - i n partners (or relatives) with whom they have shared parenting r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s for more than 6 months were not asked to pa r t i c i p a t e i n the study. This exclusionary c r i t e r i a was designed to r e s t r i c t the sample to func t i o n a l l y single mothers. A t o t a l of 66 single mothers returned completed questionnaires. This i s an 81% rate of return. Sample 33 c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s were derived from the General Information Sheet and a summary of t h i s descriptive information may be found i n Table 1. Of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t i s the r e l a t i v e l y low average socioeconomic status. This score translates to l e v e l 4 of 5 on the Hollingshead Index of Social Status (Hollingshead, 1975), where a score of 1 represents a high s o c i a l status. Also note that mean scores on the Conners' Parent Rating Scale (Goyette, Conners & U l r i c h , 1978) are expressed as standard scores and indicate that the mothers in t h i s sample perceived t h e i r children to be more problematic than average in that mean scores f e l l approximately one hal f of a standard deviation above the normative mean on a l l f i v e of the scales on t h i s instrument. F i n a l l y , i t i s important to recognize that these mothers report high l e v e l s of stress over the past year ( i . e . , mean of 4.64 on a scale from 0 to 6). The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t h i s sample are consistent with descriptive reports of single mothers i n the l i t e r a t u r e (Davids, 1986; Tuckman & Regan, 1966). Mothers were assigned to groups on the basis of s e l f -reported mood ( i . e . , depressed mood, nondepressed mood). An analysis of power using tables i n Cohen (1977), indicated that, assuming a medium ef f e c t size between groups (depressed/nondepressed), 47 subjects per c e l l would be required to detect a s i g n i f i c a n t difference 2/3 of the time i f one existed. However, a t o t a l of 94 subjects was seen as unreasonable given the f i n a n c i a l and time constraints of 34 Table 1 Descriptive Information for the Total Sample (n=66) Variable Mean (SD) Maternal age 35. 56 ' 6.37) Socioeconomic status 30.36 '16.96) Number of children 1.85 ; 1.03) Age of target c h i l d 8 . 06 ' 2.35) Number years single parent 6 .26 { 3.81) BDI 9. 18 ( 8.04) CES-D 33 . 89 (10.61) Stress - past year 4 . 64 ( 1.29) Stress - past month 3.73 ( 1.58) Stress - past day 2.21 { 1.78) CPRS conduct problems . 77 [ 1.54) learning problems . 94 ( 1.82) somatic problems 1. 01 ( 2.15) inattention problems .35 ( 1.09) anxiety problems . 52 ( 1-48) 35 Table 1 Descriptive Information (Continued) Variable Percent Marital status never married 28.80 separated 19.70 widowed 1.50 divorced 50.00 married 0.00 Sex of target c h i l d male 65.20 female 34.80 Sought Psych services - s e l f 63.60 Sought Psych services - c h i l d 27.30 36 t h i s s t u d y . I n s t e a d , power was i n c r e a s e d by m a x i m i z i n g t h e d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s o f t h e groups so as t o i n c r e a s e t h e e f f e c t s i z e on t h e between s u b j e c t s d i m e n s i o n . I n c o n t r a s t t o a median s p l i t p r o c e d u r e , groups were d i s t i n g u i s h e d by i n c l u d i n g i n t h e f o r m a l d a t a a n a l y s i s o n l y t h o s e who p r o v i d e d extreme s c o r e s on a s t a n d a r d mood i n v e n t o r y . That i s , o n l y mothers w i t h s c o r e s i n t h e upper and l o w e r t h i r d s o f t h e 66 p e r s o n sample were c o n s i d e r e d (n=22). I n a s t u d y w i t h a s i m i l a r d e s i g n t o t h e proposed i n v e s t i g a t i o n , M i d d l e b r o o k and Forehand (1986) found s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s between groups u s i n g 10 mothers of c l i n i c -r e f e r r e d c h i l d r e n and 10 mothers o f n o n c l i n i c c h i l d r e n . G i v e n t h a t t h e s e r e s e a r c h e r s found an n o f 10 t o be s e n s i t i v e t o d i f f e r e n c e s a c r o s s c o n d i t i o n s , c o n f i d e n c e may be p l a c e d i n t h e p r e s e n t experiment w i t h an n o f 22. P r o c e d u r e I f t h e i n f o r m a t i o n g a t h e r e d i n t h e i n i t i a l t e l e p h o n e c o n t a c t i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e mother was e l i g i b l e f o r t h e s t u d y , she was g i v e n i n s t r u c t i o n s and a b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n o f each of t h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e s t o be completed. Mothers were i n f o r m e d t h a t t h e y had t h e r i g h t t o r e f u s e t o p a r t i c i p a t e o r t o w i t h d r a w from t h e s t u d y a t any t i m e . The r e c e i p t o f a completed package was t a k e n t o be i n d i c a t i v e o f c o n s e n t f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The e n t i r e q u e s t i o n n a i r e package t o o k a p p r o x i m a t e l y 4 5 m i n u t es t o complete. Mothers were asked t o s e t a s i d e one 37 hour for the task. In order to minimize the p o s s i b i l i t y of uncontrolled environmental stress during the task administration, a l l mothers were asked to f i l l out the questionnaires during a quiet time at home (e.g., a f t e r the child(ren)'s bedtime). In addition, baseline stress l e v e l s were attained by having mothers indicate the degree of stress experienced over the past year, month and day. Following task completion they were asked to note any events that arose and to record the l e v e l of stress that these events evoked. Mothers were asked to return completed questionnaires in an unmarked envelope so that c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y could be maintained. This unmarked envelope was enclosed i n an envelope that included the subject's name and address. The names and addresses were kept separate from the c o n f i d e n t i a l questionnaires and were used to mail a written explanation of the study, a thank-you note, and payment of f i v e d o l l a r s to each pa r t i c i p a n t . Materials The questionnaire package. Each mother received a package containing: an explanatory cover l e t t e r (Appendix A), a General Information Sheet (Appendix B), the Beck Depression Inventory (Appendix C), The Center for Epidemiological Studies - Depression scale (Appendix D), a Conners' Parent Rating Scale (Appendix E), the L i f e Stress Index (Appendix F), Instructions for completing the mother reaction section (Appendix G), the 12 vignettes (global l i f e 38 event context - Appendix H, d a i l y hassles context - Appendix I, no stress context - Appendix J ) , each followed by the mother reaction scales (Appendix K) and a Stress Manipulation Check (Appendix L), and the Recent Stress Index (Appendix M). Mothers were asked to f i r s t complete the background information forms, including the measures of depression. Participants then read each c h i l d behavior vignette, presented in a random order across subjects, and completed the dependent measures and stress manipulation checks for each vignette. The presentation of the dependent variables was counterbalanced across mothers to control for possible order e f f e c t s . The demographic information. On the General Information Sheet, mothers were asked to indicate: t h e i r age, occupation, education, marital history (single, separated, widowed, divorced), number of children, age(s) of chi l d ( r e n ) , sex of target c h i l d , the number of years as a single parent and, whether or not they have sought help for c h i l d or maternal psychological problems (Appendix B). This data was used to describe the sample and to i d e n t i f y possible factors that covaried with mood. The measures of depressed mood. In keeping with the l i t e r a t u r e i n the area, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI; Beck et a l . , 1961) was u t i l i z e d to assign mothers to mood groups (Appendix C). This 21-item instrument has been used 39 to assess the severity of depressed mood i n both c l i n i c a l and n o n c l i n i c a l populations (Hollon & Kendall, 1980; Krantz & Hammen, 1979; Oliver & Burkham, 1979). Respondents are asked to indicate the degree to which they experience each of the symptoms of depression. The instrument i s scored by adding the responses given across items. Higher scores correspond to greater severity of depressed mood. The BDI has demonstrated good r e l i a b i l i t y and v a l i d i t y (Corcoran & Fischer, 1987). In terms of r e l i a b i l i t y , investigators have established that i s has good internal consistency ( s p l i t -h a l f r e l i a b i l i t i e s range from .53 to .93) (Beck et a l . , 1961; Weckowitz, Muir & Cropely, 1967) and good t e s t - r e t e s t r e l i a b i l i t y (.78 in a n o n - c l i n i c a l sample over one week) (Oliver & Burkham, 1979). Concurrent v a l i d i t y has also been demonstrated in that t h i s instrument correlates highly with behavioral measures of depression (Williams, Barlow & Argas, 1972) and with c l i n i c a l judgement (Beck et a l . , 1961). In previous studies, the BDI scores for mothers of c l i n i c -referred children have ranged from 7 to 13.5 (Brody & Forehand, 1986; Griest et a l . , 1979; Griest et a l . , 1980). In many studies of maternal mood, the BDI has been the sole instrument used to assess depressed mood (eg., Griest et a l . , 1979; Griest et a l . , 1980; Webster-Stratton & Hammen, 1988). However, since t h i s measure was primarily developed for use with c l i n i c a l l y - d e p r e s s e d populations, a second questionnaire, the Center for Epidemiological Studies - Depression scale (CES-D; Radloff, 1977) was also completed 40 by mothers (Appendix D). The CES-D i s a 20-item scale that i s designed to measure the a f f e c t i v e component of depression within a normal population. This instrument has a good empirical base and i s easy to administer and score (Corcoran & Fischer, 1987). S p l i t - h a l f and Spearman-Brown r e l i a b i l i t y c o e f f i c i e n t s range from .77 to .92 in d i c a t i n g good in t e r n a l consistency (Radloff, 1977). Test-retest correlations up to eight weeks are moderate (.57) (Radloff, 1977). The CES-D correlates s i g n i f i c a n t l y with other depression and mood scales (Craig & Van Natta, 1976) and displays high discriminant v a l i d i t y (Radloff, 1977; Weissman, Kleber, Ruben, Williams & Thompson, 1977). Given i t s s o l i d psychometric properties and s e n s i t i v i t y within the general population, the CES-D was used to supplement the BDI i n the assessment of depressed mood. The c h i l d behavior information. Mothers completed a standardized c h i l d rating scale, the Conners Parent Rating Scale (Goyette et a l . , 1978) to assess perceptions of behavior problems such as hyperactivity, anxiety, learning problems, somatic problems and conduct disorder. Respondents were asked to indicate, on the 4-point scale provided, the degree to which t h e i r c h i l d exhibits each of the symptoms l i s t e d (Appendix E). The data gathered in t h i s manner provided information about each mother's perception of her own c h i l d . 41 The indices of stress. Participants were asked to indicate the average l e v e l of stress they had experienced within the past year, month and day (Appendix F). Also, a f t e r completing the task, subjects rated, on a 7-point scale, the l e v e l of stress provoked by any events that arose during completion of the package of questionnaires (Appendix M) . * The descriptions of c h i l d behavior. Twelve descriptions of c h i l d behavior were presented to subjects in written form. In a study with a s i m i l a r design, Middlebrook and Forehand (1986) found that using c h i l d behaviors that were eithe r b l a t a n t l y deviant or bla t a n t l y appropriate produced no s i g n i f i c a n t differences i n maternal perceptions across stress conditions. However, when the c h i l d behaviors were ambiguous; that i s , not c l e a r l y appropriate or inappropriate, maternal perceptions were affected by the stress manipulation. Therefore, in t h i s study, only ambiguous descriptions of c h i l d behavior were used as s t i m u l i . Middlebrook and Forehand (1986) u t i l i z e d two ambiguous descriptions of c h i l d behavior that were repeatedly paired with contexts of varying stress l e v e l s . This method increases i n t e r n a l v a l i d i t y in that confounds are un l i k e l y to be introduced into the st i m u l i because i d e n t i c a l scenes are u t i l i z e d across the stress conditions. However, external v a l i d i t y may suffer because g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y i s 42 l i m i t e d and the r e l i a b i l i t y of responses may be diminished by the r e p e t i t i v e nature of the s t i m u l i . In response to these l a t t e r concerns, the present study u t i l i z e d d i f f e r e n t , but equivalent, scenes of c h i l d behavior across the stress conditions. This equivalence was achieved using a p i l o t study (Appendix N). The descriptions of c h i l d behavior were derived from materials u t i l i z e d by other researchers who focus on parenting (e.g., Dix & Grusec, 1985; Gordon, Jones & Nowicki, 1979; Grusec, Dix & M i l l s , 1982). Thi r t y female undergraduates were asked to read 2 0 c h i l d behavior descriptions and to rate the degree of ambiguity and stress implied i n each of them. S p e c i f i c a l l y , they were asked to indicate on Likert-type scales, "How s t r e s s f u l you found the c h i l d behavior to be", "How much you think the c h i l d acted d e l i b e r a t e l y to annoy his mother", "How sure you are about t h i s r a t i n g " ( i . e . , ambiguity) and "How much of a problem you think t h i s c h i l d behavior i s " . Based on these ratings, the 12 descriptions that were rated as being most equivalent, in terms of ambiguity and stress, were chosen for the study. The mean stress score across vignettes chosen, on a scale from 0 (none) to 6 ( l o t s ) , was 2.19. Mean scores ranged from 2.03 to 3.86. The mean ambiguity score across vignettes chosen on a scale from 0 (very sure) to 6 (not sure) was 2.20. Mean scores ranged from 1.86 to 2. 66. 43 The stress contexts. Stress was the within-subject variable manipulated in the present study. Three l e v e l s of stress were considered: global l i f e events (GLE), d a i l y hassles (DH) and no stress (NO) contexts. Each description of ambiguous c h i l d behavior was randomly assigned to one of these stress l e v e l s , creating 12 vignettes, four of each stress l e v e l . Subjects were asked to imagine themselves in the p o s i t i o n of the mother i n each of these vignettes and to complete the ratings from t h i s perspective. Each par t i c i p a n t was presented with four vignettes i n each condition ( i . e . , four c h i l d behavior scenes i n each of three stress conditions (GLE/DH/NO) for a t o t a l of 12 vignettes). In the GLE vignettes, the ambiguous c h i l d behavior followed a description of major stressors that affected the story mother over the past year (Appendix H). To control for the presence of d a i l y events, a statement i n d i c a t i n g the absence of d a i l y stress accompanied the GLE vignettes. In order to create the impression of great l i f e stress, the story mother endured f i v e global l i f e events of moderate severity over the past year. In keeping with contemporary thinking in t h i s area (Vinokur & Selzer, 1975), only events that implied a negative change were included in the vignettes. The global l i f e stressors used i n t h i s study were derived from the LES (Sarason et a l . , 1978) and were equated with respect to int e n s i t y according to the following procedure. F i r s t , the LES forms of 30 mothers of c l i n i c -r eferred children were reviewed and the most frequently 44 endorsed items were i d e n t i f i e d . Of these, 20 items that received negative and approximately equivalent stress ratings were selected. By combining f i v e of these items, a GLE narrative was formed. A series of 12 GLE descriptions were created i n t h i s manner. Then, as a part of the aforementioned p i l o t study, undergraduate female students rated these 12 b r i e f narratives i n terms of stressfulness and negativity. Of these 12, the four most equivalent global l i f e event descriptions were chosen for the study. The mean stress rating across the vignettes chosen, on a scale from 0 (no stress) to 6 (a l o t of s t r e s s ) , was 4.40. Mean scores ranged from 4.24 to 4.66. Mean negativity scores ranged from 4.24 to 5.00, on a scale from 0 (very positive) to 6 (very negative), and produced an average score of 4.52. By using the information c o l l e c t e d in the p i l o t study in t h i s way, i t was possible to select GLE narratives that were approximately equivalent. In the DH condition, the c h i l d ' s behavior was detailed following the description of a series of d a i l y hassles that the story mother incurred over the course of the day (Appendix I ) . To control for the presence of global l i f e events, a statement indicating the lack of negative global l i f e events over the past year accompanied the d a i l y hassles descriptions. The d a i l y hassles chosen were derived from the revised version of The Hassles Scale (DeLongis, Folkman & Lazarus, 1988). In an attempt to quantify a high l e v e l of d a i l y stress, the mothers depicted experienced f i v e hassles, 45 of moderate severity, on the day being described. Again, the degree of stress evoked by these scenes, and the negativity inherent i n them, was assessed and equated with the help of undergraduate p i l o t data. The mean stress r a t i n g for the vignettes chosen, on a scale from 0 (no stress) to 6 (a l o t of st r e s s ) , was 3.52, with a range of 3.03 to 3.76. The mean negativity score for the vignettes chosen, on a scale from 0 (very positive) to 6 (very negative), was 3.74, with a range of 3.48 to 4.03. It i s noteworthy that, in general, these undergraduate females rated the d a i l y hassles as somewhat less s t r e s s f u l and less negative than the global l i f e events described. In the No Stress condition, the c h i l d behavior was accompanied by two statements; one ind i c a t i n g the absence of s i g n i f i c a n t global l i f e events and one describing freedom from d a i l y hassles. The dependent measures. According to the t r i p a r t i t e model of psychological functioning, there are three aspects of responding that may be assessed: a f f e c t , behavior and cognition (Hersen & Bellack, 1981). In the present study, maternal a f f e c t i v e , behavioral and cognitive reactions to the c h i l d behavior depicted were quantified through the use of s i x Likert-type scales ( i . e . , two per domain of response). The presentation of these was counterbalanced across mothers and followed each of the 12 vignettes. 46 The two questions regarding a f f e c t i v e response were designed to provide information about maternal emotional reactions to the c h i l d behavior scenes i n each of the three stress conditions. F i r s t , mothers were asked to indicate the i n t e n s i t y of emotional upset they would f e e l i n response to the c h i l d behavior depicted. The anchor points on t h i s scale were "not upsetting" to "very upsetting." Second, mothers were to estimate the duration of the upset (from "not affected" to "very affected"). These two scales were si m i l a r to those used when evaluating the emotional reactions associated with ambiguous c h i l d behavior i n studies of both normal and abusive parents (Dix & Grusec, 1985; LaRose et a l . , 1986). The two questions regarding behavioral response were designed to measure the anticipated maternal instrumental reaction following the c h i l d behavior. The f i r s t question assessed the degree to which mothers were inspired to act in response to the c h i l d behavior. Anchor points read "unlikely to d i s c i p l i n e " and "very l i k e l y to respond." The second question was designed to tap the i n t e n s i t y of t h i s anticipated reaction. Mothers were asked to indicate the strength of t h e i r reaction (from "no response" to "intense response"). This l a t t e r dimension has been deemed relevant by a number of researchers (Bauer & Twentyman, 1985; Gordon, Jones & Nowicki, 1979). A t h i r d component, designed to y i e l d q u a l i t a t i v e information only, was also included i n the behavioral measure. Mothers were asked to choose, from a 47 l i s t of s ix behavioral parenting responses, the item that would most c l o s e l y matched t h e i r immediate response to the c h i l d behavior depicted. If none of the choices provided were applicable, mothers were given the opportunity to describe another response. Only one response was permitted for each vignette. Maternal perception of c h i l d behavior was the construct used to represent the cognitive dimension of parental response. The f i r s t question, derived from the study by Middlebrook and Forehand (1986), assessed the degree to which the c h i l d behavior was seen as deviant. Anchor points read "not a problem" and "a big problem." Middlebrook and Forehand (1986) showed that t h i s dimension was s e n s i t i v e to changes i n the i n t e n s i t y of environmental stress. That i s , mothers rated the children as more deviant in high stress conditions as opposed to nonstressful contexts. The second question measured the degree to which mothers believed that the c h i l d ' s behavior was deliberate. This scale tapped the a t t r i b u t i o n s made by mothers in response to c h i l d behavior in stress/no stress conditions. The scale was anchored by the statements "not on purpose" and "very much on purpose." Similar measures have been used in studies of parenting by Dix and Grusec (1983), Bauer and Twentyman (1985) and Larrance and Twentyman (1983). The stress manipulation check. After each vignette, mothers answered three questions about the narrative that 48 t h e y j u s t r e a d . F i r s t , t h e y were asked t o r e c o r d t h e l e v e l o f s u b j e c t i v e s t r e s s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e scene on a 7 - p o i n t r a t i n g s c a l e . T h i s r a t i n g measured whether t h e v i g n e t t e s t h a t were i n t e n d e d t o be s t r e s s f u l a c t u a l l y e x e r t e d t h i s i n f l u e n c e on mothers and whether No S t r e s s c o n d i t i o n s were p e r c e i v e d as n o n - s t r e s s f u l . Second, mothers were asked t o i n d i c a t e , on t h e 7 - p o i n t s c a l e p r o v i d e d , t h e degree t o which t h e e v e n t s would a f f e c t t h e i r d a i l y f u n c t i o n i n g i f t h e y happened " i n r e a l l i f e . " T h i s q u e s t i o n was d e s i g n e d t o t a p t h e p r o x i m i t y d i m e n s i o n . That i s , e v e n t s p e r c e i v e d t o be more p r o x i m a l s h o u l d have a g r e a t e r impact on d a i l y f u n c t i o n i n g t h a n more d i s t a l e v e n t s . The m a n i p u l a t i o n would be c o n s i d e r e d s u c c e s s f u l i f r e s p o n d e n t s r a t e d t h e DH scenes t o have a g r e a t e r impact on d a i l y f u n c t i o n i n g t h a n t h e GLE e v e n t s . F i n a l l y , p a r t i c i p a n t s were asked t o r a t e , on a 7-p o i n t s c a l e , t h e r e a l i s m o f t h e e v e n t s d e s c r i b e d (Appendix K) . 49 Results Preliminary Analyses As an i n i t i a l step i n data analysis, a series of calc u l a t i o n s were performed to produce summary scores. Because two questions were used to assess maternal reactions in each of three areas ( i . e . , a f f e c t i v e , behavioral and cognitive), i t was decided that i f s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i v e correlations existed between responses within each domain, then the two scores would be collapsed i n further analyses. Pearson correlations indicated that the two questions within each domain produced responses that were p o s i t i v e l y and s i g n i f i c a n t l y correlated ( i . e . , a f f e c t i v e responses r = .853, p <.05 ; behavioral responses r = .662, p_ <.05; cognitive responses r = .756, p_ <.05) and the scores within domains were summed for further analyses. Summary scores were also produced within each of the stress conditions. Since p i l o t data had indicated that the four vignettes within each condition were comparable in terms of stress, negativeness and realism; responses were summed across the four vignettes i n each stress condition. Main Analyses Mothers were divided into three groups based on scores on the BDI. A three-way s p l i t of these scores yielded a lower t h i r d consisting of 22 scores of f i v e and under 50 (nondepressed mood (NM)) and an upper t h i r d consisting of 22 scores of 11 and over (depressed mood (DM)). Only the responses of these 44 mothers were used i n the primary analyses. A two-way repeated measures Multivariate Analysis Of Variance (MANOVA) was conducted. Stress context (GLE, DH, NO) was the within-subject independent variable, mood (NM,DM) was the between-subjects grouping factor and the dependent variables were maternal summary scores for a f f e c t i v e (Aff), behavioral (Beh) and cognitive (Cog) responses to the c h i l d behavior vignettes. Higher scores indicated more a f f e c t i v e arousal, intense response and perceptions of the c h i l d behavior as deviant. The c e l l means for t h i s analysis are presented i n Table 2. A s i g n i f i c a n t main e f f e c t for stress context (F(6,37) = 14.05, p<.001), but not mood group (F(3,40) = 2.04, p>.10), was revealed through t h i s analysis. There was no stress by mood inte r a c t i o n in t h i s analysis. Univariate tests showed s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t s for stress on each of the dependent variables (Aff F(2,84) = 40.32, p_<.001; Beh F(2,84) = 19.07, p_<.001; Cog F(2,84) = 18.60, p_<.001). Multiple comparisons were calculated using the Tukey method and revealed that the two stress conditions ( i . e . , GLE and DH) e l i c i t e d higher scores than the no stress control condition ( i . e . , NO) on a l l three dependent measures. Further, the DH condition produced s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher scores than the GLE condition across a l l measures. For the mothers in t h i s sample, i t 51 T a b l e 2 C e l l Means f o r MANOVA (groups formed u s i n g BDI s c o r e s ) S t r e s s C o n t e x t Group DH GLE NO Depressed Mood A f f e c t i v e B e h a v i o r a l C o g n i t i v e 22.82 (2.22) 22.55 (1.74) 18.32 (2.17) 19.41 (1.65) 18.59 (1.91) 15.14 (2.12) 13.50 (1.69) 16.32 (1.92) 13.50 (2.09) Nondepressed Mood A f f e c t i v e B e h a v i o r a l C o g n i t i v e 17.41 (1.55) 19.86 (1.74) 14.86 (1.64) 15.09 (1.74) 18.05 (1.63) 12.82 (1.83) 8.77 (1.06) 13.00 (1.46) 9.04 (1.56) 52 appears that d a i l y hassles were more related to the i n t e n s i t y of response following c h i l d behavior than were the more d i s t a l global l i f e events. That i s , i n the DH condition mothers indicated that they were more a f f e c t i v e l y aroused by the c h i l d behavior, that they would respond more severely to t h i s behavior and that they perceived the behavior to be more deviant and purposeful than in the other stress contexts. Since the BDI was designed to be applied within c l i n i c a l samples, the present study also r e l i e d upon an instrument designed for use with community samples, the CES-D. In t h i s sample, the c o r r e l a t i o n between CES-D and BDI scores was .74 (p<.05). As with the BDI, scores on the CES-D were divided into three groups. The 2 2 mothers who received scores in the lower t h i r d of the sample, scores below 28, were i d e n t i f i e d as the nondepressed mood (NM) group and those who scored in the upper t h i r d , scores above 37, became the depressed mood (DM) group. A two-way repeated measures MANOVA conducted using these two groups produced d i f f e r e n t r e s u l t s than those attained using BDI scores. The means for t h i s analysis are displayed in Table 3 . In t h i s analysis, main e f f e c t s for both stress (F(6,37) = 13.81, p<.001) and mood (F(3,40) = 5.47, p<.003) were s i g n i f i c a n t . No stress by mood interaction was detected in t h i s analysis of the data. In terms of the stress e f f e c t , 53 T a b l e 3 C e l l Means f o r MANOVA (groups formed u s i n g CES-D s c o r e s ) DH GLE NO Group Depressed Mood A f f e c t i v e B e h a v i o r a l C o g n i t i v e 23.18 (2.06) 23.27 (1.77) 18.41 (2.04) S t r e s s C o n t e x t 19.32 (1.75) 20.64 (1.87) 16.27 (2.19) 12.32 (1.29) 15.59 (1.90) 12.41 (1.72) 15.18 (1.60) 17.86 (1.84) 14.36 (2.12) 7.23 (0.76) 13.32 (1.57) 9.32 (1.26) Nondepressed Mood A f f e c t i v e 16.59 (1.69) B e h a v i o r a l 19.55 (1.94) C o g n i t i v e 16.09 (1.87) 54 univariate calculations indicated that the difference was s i g n i f i c a n t across the three dependent measures (Aff F(2,84) = 38.37, p<.001; Beh F(2,84) = 14.99, p_<.001; Cog F(2,84) = 13.55, p_<.001). Follow-up multiple comparisons revealed that the responses to c h i l d behavior were more intense i n the two stress conditions than when the behavior occurred in a str e s s - f r e e context. Again, the d a i l y hassles condition stimulated s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher responses across the measures. In t h i s analysis a s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t for mood was also detected. Univariate t - t e s t s showed s i g n i f i c a n t differences between NM and DM groups on the a f f e c t i v e scores (Aff F(l,42) = 13.99, p_<.001). There was a trend for behavioral scores to d i f f e r between groups (Beh F(l,42) = 3.85, p<.06), but scores on the measure of maternal cognitive response were not s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t (Cog F(l,42) = 2.45, p_<.12). Across a l l dependent variables, mothers in the DM group had higher scores than those in the NM group. Since only two-thirds of the t o t a l sample was u t i l i z e d i n the main analyses (n=44), i t was deemed necessary to i d e n t i f y t h i s subsample i n terms of basic descriptive information. A summary of t h i s data may be found i n Table 4. It i s apparent that demographic composition of t h i s subgroup i s consistent with that of the larger sample of 66 respondents. Given the s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t of CES-D mood on mother responses, t - t e s t s were conducted to determine whether or 55 T a b l e 4 D e s c r i p t i v e I n f o r m a t i o n f o r t h e Subsample (n=44) V a r i a b l e Mean (SD) M a t e r n a l age 35.77 ' 7.14) So c i o e c o n o m i c s t a t u s 30.39 '18.41) Number o f c h i l d r e n 1.86 [ 1.07) Age o f t a r g e t c h i l d 8 . 16 ' 2.28) Number y e a r s s i n g l e p a r e n t 6 .23 [ 3.67) BDI 10.23 ( 9.28) CES-D 35 . 09 [12.77) S t r e s s - p a s t y e a r 4 . 59 ( 1.32) S t r e s s - p a s t month 3 . 52 ( 1.68) S t r e s s - p a s t day 2 .32 ( 1.86) CPRS conduct problems .90 C 1-61) l e a r n i n g problems 1.27 ( 2.02) s o m a t i c problems 1.42 ( 2.39) i n a t t e n t i o n problems . 29 ( 1.18) a n x i e t y problems .73 ( 1.65) 56 Table 4 Descriptive Information (Continued) Variable Percent Marital status never married 27.30 separated 15.90 widowed 2.3 0 divorced 54.50 married 00.00 Sex of target c h i l d male 68.20 female 31.80 Sought Psych services - s e l f 63.60 Sought Psych services - c h i l d 25.00 57 not demographic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s varied with mood group assignment. Three variables, socioeconomic status (t (42) = 2.88, p_<.006), number of years a single mother (t (42) = -3.51, p<.001) and l e v e l of stress over the past year (t (42) =-2.69, p_<.01), showed s i g n i f i c a n t differences between the NM and DM groups. A Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA), using SES, number of years a single parent and year stress as covariates, was performed in order to determine whether or not these variables asserted an influence on the resu l t s obtained. Although t h i s analysis revealed that the covariates did not a l t e r the re s u l t s from those found in the MANOVA, i t i s not possible to place complete confidence in the MANCOVA resu l t s because the r e l a t i v e l y small sample size produced i n s t a b i l i t y i n the system ( i . e . , Greenhouse-Geiser correction named values that were outside of the meaningful range). Therefore, i n a second attempt to determine i f the mood ef f e c t s detected were the re s u l t of these p o t e n t i a l l y confounding variables, separate MANOVAs were conducted using each of these variables as a between groups factor. S i g n i f i c a n t between group e f f e c t s were not detected for any of these analyses, suggesting that these demographic variables did not have a s i g n i f i c a n t impact on the parenting responses. It appears that maternal mood eff e c t s cannot be attributed to group differences on the demographic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . 58 Secondary Analyses The manipulation check. Three questions that followed each vignette served as the stress manipulation check. The f i r s t question asked mothers to indicate, on a scale from 0 to 6, the l e v e l of stress that would be evoked by the events depicted. The manipulation would be seen as successful i f subjects reported that the global l i f e events and d a i l y hassles contexts were more s t r e s s f u l than the no stress condition. A one-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) demonstrated a s i g n i f i c a n t difference in response to t h i s question across conditions (F(2,86) = 51.3, p_<.001). Multiple comparisons confirmed that the amount of perceived stress d i f f e r e d between s t r e s s f u l conditions (GLE and DH) and no stress (NO) vignettes. No s i g n i f i c a n t differences in perceived stress were detected between the GLE and DH conditions. The second question was designed to assess the degree to which the events portrayed would be perceived as proximal in r e l a t i o n to the c h i l d behavior. The manipulation would be seen as successful i f d a i l y hassles were perceived to be more proximal than global l i f e events and no stress contexts. A one-way ANOVA indicated a s i g n i f i c a n t difference across conditions (F(2,86) = 49.7, p<.001). However, multiple comparisons revealed that t h i s difference occurred between the stress (GLE and DH) and no stress (NO) contexts rather than between the two stress conditions. That i s , stress contexts of both types were seen as having a 59 greater impact on d a i l y functioning than the no stress condition. Question three asked participants to rate the l e v e l of realism perceived to be inherent in each of the vignettes. A one-way ANOVA showed that the three conditions did not d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y with respect to perceived realism. Descriptively, on a scale from 0 (not at a l l ) to 6 (very) the mean scores for GLE, DH and NO conditions were 3.1, 3.6 and 3.0, respectively. The c o r r e l a t i o n a l analyses. Descriptive information was correlated with mothers' a f f e c t i v e , behavioral and cognitive responses summed across a l l scenarios i n order t o determine which variables were associated with maternal perceptions of, and responses to, c h i l d behavior. These correlations are presented in Table 5. Of 27 correlations calculated, f i v e were s i g n i f i c a n t at the .05 l e v e l . These variables were d i f f e r e n t i a l l y related to d i f f e r e n t domains of response. In the a f f e c t i v e domain, severity of responses were p o s i t i v e l y related to maternal perceptions of c h i l d somatic problems on the Conners Parent Rating Scale and to the l e v e l of perceived stress i n the year and month p r i o r t o questionnaire completion. No descriptive variables were s i g n i f i c a n t l y related to behavioral responses. Perceptions of greater deviance in the c h i l d behavior scenes were p o s i t i v e l y related to perceptions of somatic status of the 60 Table 5 Corre l a t i o n a l Analysis of Descriptive Information and Maternal Responses Maternal Response Variable Aff Beh Cog Socioeconomic status -.13 -.14 -.08 Number of children -.10 -.06 - . 07 Stress - past year . 28* . 12 . 09 Stress - past month .25* . 05 . 16 Stress - past day . 15 . 06 . 31* CPRS conduct problems .25 . 16 . 19 somatic problems . 34* .21 . 27* inattention problems . 18 . 03 . 10 anxiety problems .20 . 1 . 14 *P<.05 61 c h i l d and w i t h t h e l e v e l o f s t r e s s i n t h e day o f q u e s t i o n n a i r e c o m p l e t i o n . The d e s c r i p t i v e a n a l y s i s o f p a r e n t b e h a v i o r . I n a d d i t i o n t o r e p o r t i n g t h e degree t o which t h e y would respond b e h a v i o r a l l y t o t h e c h i l d b e h a v i o r d e p i c t e d , mothers were a l s o asked t o d e s c r i b e t h e i r a n t i c i p a t e d immediate b e h a v i o r a l r e s p o n s e . A l i s t o f s i x common p a r e n t i n g r e s p o n s e s was p r o v i d e d and mothers were i n s t r u c t e d t o choose t h e one b e h a v i o r t h a t b e s t r e f l e c t e d what t h e y would do f i r s t i n r e a c t i o n t o t h e c h i l d b e h a v i o r . T h i s d e s c r i p t i v e i n f o r m a t i o n i s summarized i n T a b l e 6. 62 T a b l e 6 D e s c r i p t i v e I n f o r m a t i o n f o r B e h a v i o r a l Responses B e h a v i o r a l Response DH S t r e s s C o n t e x t GLE NO not respond a t a l l 2.78' i g n o r e t h e b e h a v i o r 4.63 r e a s o n w i t h t h e c h i l d 34.26 t a k e away p r i v i l e g e s 12.96 r e p r i m a n d t h e c h i l d 23.15 y e l l a t / s p a n k t h e c h i l d 22.22 6.58% 6 . 58 49. 12 9 . 65 16 .23 11.84 5 .48% 6 .85 58 .90 3 . 65 18 .72 6 . 39 Discussion The present study was designed to assess whether or not stress and mood influence mothers' a f f e c t i v e , behavioral and/or cognitive responses to c h i l d behavior. The re s u l t s obtained suggest that both l i f e stress and maternal mood are important for understanding parental reactions. In terms of stress, mothers indicated a more severe behavioral response, and perceived the c h i l d behavior to be more upsetting, problematic and intentional, i n the GLE and DH conditions than in the NO stress condition. This i s consistent with previous findings that indicate that under s t r e s s f u l conditions mothers respond with "minimal parenting" (Zussman, 1980) and perceive c h i l d behavior to be more deviant than when the same behavior occurs i n a context of low stress (Middlebrook & Forehand, 1986). Further, within stress conditions, d a i l y hassles were associated with s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher scores than were global l i f e events across the dependent measures. This finding i s i n keeping with the hypothesis that, although d a i l y hassles may be perceived as r e l a t i v e l y minor i n comparison to major l i f e stressors, these s t r e s s f u l events that occur on a d a i l y , frequent basis have a greater impact on parental responses than the major, perhaps more d i s t a l , global l i f e events. The r e s u l t s i n d i c a t i n g a main e f f e c t for stress are meaningful only i f the stress manipulation was successful. 64 An analysis of mothers' ratings on the f i r s t question of the manipulation check showed that the two stress conditions (GLE and DH) were perceived as s i g n i f i c a n t l y more s t r e s s f u l than the NO stress condition. However, no s i g n i f i c a n t difference i n perceived stress was found between the two stress contexts (GLE vs. DH). Interestingly, in the p i l o t study, female undergraduates had rated the GLE narratives as more s t r e s s f u l than the DH narratives. Based on t h i s information from mothers and undergraduate females, i t appears u n l i k e l y that d a i l y hassles are associated with higher maternal response scores simply due to differences in the l e v e l of stress inherent in the GLE and DH descriptions. Since mothers f a i l e d to d i s t i n g u i s h the two conditions in terms of stress l e v e l , one could argue that proximity, rather than severity, i s the key d i s t i n c t i o n between these two types of stress (DeLongis et a l . , 1982). In t h i s study we attempted to test t h i s hypothesis through the use of a second question in the manipulation check. The question, "How much would these events a f f e c t the way you went about your d a i l y routine?" was designed to address the issue of proximity. However, no differences were detected between the two stress contexts (GLE vs. DH) on t h i s dimension and evidence was not found to support the notion that d a i l y hassles were perceived to be more proximal to the mother-child int e r a c t i o n than were global l i f e events. In order to better understand t h e i r mechanisms of influence, further research i s needed to c l a r i f y the 65 dimension on which the GLE and DH conditions d i f f e r . In t h i s study, rather than dismissing the proximity hypothesis however, one could entertain other p o s s i b i l i t i e s to explain the nonsignificant difference on the manipulation check question. For instance, i t may be possible to a t t r i b u t e the f a i l u r e to detect a s i g n i f i c a n t difference to wording d i f f i c u l t i e s in t h i s question. For example, many mothers noted that i t was unclear from the way t h i s question was presented whether they were being asked to comment on the l i f e events or the c h i l d behavior described. S i g n i f i c a n t differences in responses to c h i l d behavior were also detected between groups of mothers divided on the basis of mood. This concurs with previous findings that show that mothers who fe e l more depressed perceive more behavior problems in t h e i r children than non-depressed mothers (Forehand et a l . , 1982; Griest et a l . , 1979; Rogers & Forehand, 1983). In t h i s study, mothers experiencing a depressed mood at the time of questionnaire completion reported f e e l i n g more upset by the c h i l d behavior than mothers who reported a r e l a t i v e l y nondepressed mood. In addition, although there was a trend for these groups to d i f f e r in the severity of t h e i r behavioral responses to the c h i l d behavior, no between group difference was evident on the cognitive scale assessing perceptions of c h i l d behavior. This difference across dependent measures was not predicted but i s consistent with other recent findings that suggest that d i s t o r t e d cognitions may not be the factor mediating 66 between depressed mood and perceptions of c h i l d behavior (Conrad & Hammen, 1989; Johnston, Krech, Habich & McBride, 1989). Rather, i t appears that mood congruent a f f e c t i v e processing or behavioral response s t y l e may be the key factor u n i t i n g parental depressed mood and perceptions of c h i l d problems (Jouriles, Murphy & O'Leary, 1989; Kochanska, Kuczynski & Maguire, 1989). Of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t in t h i s study was the fact that r e s u l t s d i f f e r e d depending upon whether the BDI or the CES-D was used to esta b l i s h mood l e v e l . Although highly correlated, these two instruments appear to measure d i f f e r e n t aspects of mood or depression. The BDI was designed for use primarily among c l i n i c a l l y depressed i n d i v i d u a l s . In the domain of parenting research, despite the fact that mean scores seldom reach c l i n i c a l l e v e l s of depression, mood has been assessed almost exclusively with use of the BDI. The present results suggest that, within such n o n c l i n i c a l samples, mood may be more appropriately or s e n s i t i v e l y defined using the CES-D. This finding serves to magnify the importance of selecting measures appropriate to the sample being addressed. In the present study, a s i g n i f i c a n t stress by mood int e r a c t i o n was not detected. That i s , ratings by depressed mood mothers were not i n f l a t e d d i f f e r e n t i a l l y across stress contexts. It was concluded that the main e f f e c t s operated independently. However i t i s recognized that due to i t s analogue nature, the design may not have been s e n s i t i v e 67 enough to detect t h i s interaction. The use of a c l i n i c a l l y depressed population and/or a more n a t u r a l i s t i c stress manipulation may increase the p r o b a b i l i t y of witnessing a stress by mood interaction. The c o r r e l a t i o n a l analyses indicated a few s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s between responses on the a f f e c t i v e , behavioral and cognitive measures and descriptive subject variables. Although these correlations were few in number and were of small to moderate magnitude, speculative i n t e r p r e t a t i o n may be offered. Of note i s the finding that both a f f e c t i v e and cognitive responses to the c h i l d behavior were p o s i t i v e l y correlated with reports of recent l i f e stress. Although previous research in both normal and c l i n i c - r e f e r r e d populations have demonstrated that high stress i s associated with i n f l a t e d perceptions of c h i l d deviance (Crnic & Greenberg, 1985; Webster-Stratton, 1988), l i t t l e mention of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between l i f e stress and maternal a f f e c t i v e response has been made in the l i t e r a t u r e . In addition, the demonstrated association between high stress and parent behavior in the lab (Weinraub & Ansul, 1984; Weinraub & Wolf, 1983; Whiting, 1968) was not observed i n t h i s c o r r e l a t i o n a l analysis. The d e s c r i p t i v e analysis conducted for the behavioral response questions asking for s p e c i f i c parent reactions yielded i n t e r e s t i n g r e s u l t s . If ranked subjectively in terms of severity, low to high, the behavioral choices read: no response, ignore the behavior, reason with the c h i l d , 68 take away p r i v i l e g e s , reprimand the c h i l d , and y e l l at or spank the c h i l d . Based on t h i s ranking, most of the mothers provided r e l a t i v e l y mild suggestions for how they would respond behaviorally to the c h i l d behavior ( i . e . , reason with the c h i l d ) . In the d a i l y hassles condition, however, more severe parent reactions were offered as a f i r s t response more frequently ( i . e . , y e l l at or spank the c h i l d ) . It i s notable that t h i s descriptive information i s consistent with findings from the other dependent measures that show more intense reactions i n the DH condition. A l i m i t a t i o n of the present research i s i t s analogue nature. Although t h i s type of study o f f e r s control over threats to i n t e r n a l v a l i d i t y , and i s a necessary f i r s t step in the investigation of new l i n e s of research, external v a l i d i t y i s often s a c r i f i c e d . The present study attempted to achieve some degree of external v a l i d i t y by using the responses of " r e a l " single mothers. Further, an e f f o r t was made to create scenes of c h i l d behavior that would be deemed r e a l i s t i c by respondents. Both undergraduate females and the sample of single mothers rated the c h i l d behavior and stress narratives as r e a l i s t i c . For the mothers in t h i s sample, the mean rating was 3.23 on a scale from 0 (not at a l l ) to 6 (very). One facet of external v a l i d i t y that the present study does not address, however, i s whether or not the responses provided on the questionnaires mirror actual responses to c h i l d behavior under conditions of l i f e stress. An additional l i m i t a t i o n i s that the r e s u l t s are confined to 69 the responses of single mothers. Since these mothers l i k e l y experience unique stressors and l i f e s t y l e s , the outcome should not be generalized to two-parent families without r e p l i c a t i o n of the study. Any discussion of implications regarding t h i s study must be undertaken with the above l i m i t a t i o n s i n mind. However, two contributions to the l i t e r a t u r e are worthy of note. F i r s t , t h i s study provides support for the importance of contextual variables in parenting. Using the present experimental design, causality cannot be implied in the case of mood. However, no other demographic variable measured appeared to account for between group differences. Also, the r e s u l t s are consistent with the model suggesting that parental mood exerts an influence on reactions to c h i l d behavior. This conclusion i s consistent with other studies that suggest that mood i s causally related to maternal reactions to c h i l d behavior (Zekoski, O'Hara & W i l l s , 1987). It i s therefore recommended that c l i n i c i a n s assess parent mood and consider mood management as a possible adjunct to behavioral parent t r a i n i n g in that t h i s component may o f f e r a useful, approach for changing a f f e c t i v e and behavioral response to c h i l d behavior. Since stress i s manipulated in t h i s analogue study, i t i s possible to note c a u s a l i t y . That i s , the re s u l t s of t h i s investigation indicate that stress influences maternal response to c h i l d behavior. This implies that by changing environmental stress mothers' responses may also be altered. Further, since negative 70 correlations between these variables and success in parent t r a i n i n g have already been established (Griest & Forehand, 1982; Packard, Horn, Ialongo & Greenberg, 1987, Webster-Stratton, 1985), recommendations for c l i n i c a l p r actice may be forwarded. The incorporation of a stress management component into behavioral parent t r a i n i n g programs appears warranted. Secondly, the present study introduces to the parenting domain the idea that stress should be considered as a multi-l e v e l construct ( i . e . , GLE and DH l e v e l s ) , as i t i s in the area of stress and coping (DeLongis et a l . , 1982; Kanner et a l . , 1981). Further, the res u l t s are consistent with the idea that d a i l y hassles have a s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t on maternal functioning. This may have implications for applied contexts. For instance, in terms of assessment, the res u l t s suggest that i t may be wise to include a measure such as The Hassles Scale (DeLongis, Folkman & Lazarus, 1988) i n assessment packages used for parents seeking help with c h i l d management. This would f a c i l i t a t e the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of parents who are experiencing high l e v e l s of d a i l y stress and would thereby indicate when a treatment program that includes a d a i l y hassles management component might be b e n e f i c i a l . However, more research in the area of contextual variables of parenting i s necessary before changes i n service delivery can be confidently implemented. Empirical progressions from the present study should proceed i n three main dire c t i o n s . F i r s t , external v a l i d i t y 71 concerns should be addressed through attempts to increase the realism of the stress manipulation and the stimulus materials. This might be achieved through the use of videotaped vignettes, c h i l d confederates, " r e a l " children or actual task demands. A second and related suggestion for future research involves exploring whether or not the parental reactions provided i n response to the manipulation are r e f l e c t i v e and/or predictive of actual parent a f f e c t , behavior and cognition. Observational or c o r r e l a t i o n a l designs would best f a c i l i t a t e t h i s kind of research. F i n a l l y , variables that w i l l further our understanding of parenting, such as eth n i c i t y , might replace depressed mood as the between subjects variable i n t h i s design. In sum, t h i s study demonstrated that l i f e stress exerts an impact on maternal reactions to c h i l d behavior. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , a d i f f e r e n t i a l e f f e c t of d a i l y hassles and global l i f e events was detected. 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Child Development, 51, 792-800. 86 Appendix B General Information Sheet Mother's Age: Mother's Occupation: Highest Level of Education received: Marital History: never married separated widowed divorced married Number of Children: Age(s) and sex(es) of Children: Number of Years as a single parent: Have you ever sought psychological help for your c h i l d or for your own personal problems? If yes, please describe b r i e f l y . Thank you. Appendix C Beck Depression Inventory Please read each item c a r e f u l l y a l l the way through and then choose the answer that f i t s you best at the present time. There are no r i g h t or wrong answers. Please answer as honestly as you can. Your responses are s t r i c t l y c o n f i d e n t i a l . C i r c l e your answer for each item. Thank you for your cooperation and help. '0) I do not f e e l sad. '1) I f e e l blue or sad. 2a) I am blue or sad a l l the time and I can't snap out of i t . '2b) I am so sad or unhappy that i t i s very p a i n f u l . 3) I am so sad or unhappy that I can't stand i t . ;o) I am not p a r t i c u l a r l y pessimistic or discouraged about the future. 1) I f e e l discouraged about the future. ^2a) I f e e l I have nothing to look forward to. ;2b) I f e e l that I won't ever get over my troubles. 3) I f e e l that the future i s hopeless and that things cannot improve. 0) I do not f e e l l i k e a f a i l u r e . 1) I f e e l I have f a i l e d more than the average person. [2a) I f e e l I have accomplished very l i t t l e that i s worthwhile or that means anything. 2b) As I look back on my l i f e a l l I can see i s a l o t of f a i l u r e . '3) I f e e l I am a complete f a i l u r e as a person. 0) I am not p a r t i c u l a r l y d i s s a t i s f i e d , la) I f e e l bored most of the time. lb) I don't enjoy things the way I used to. 2) I don't get s a t i s f a c t i o n out of anything anymore. 3^) I am d i s s a t i s f i e d with everything. ;o) I don't f e e l p a r t i c u l a r l y g u i l t y . 1) I f e e l bad or unworthy a good part of the time. ;2a) I f e e l quite g u i l t y . ]2b) I f e e l bad or unworthy p r a c t i c a l l y a l l the time now. 3) I f e e l as though I am very bad or worthless. 0) I don't f e e l I am being punished. 1) I have a f e e l i n g that something bad may happen to me. '2) I f e e l I am being punished or w i l l be punished. '3a) I f e e l I deserve to be punished. 3b) I want to be punished. 88 0) I don't f e e l d i s a p p o i n t e d i n m y s e l f , l a ) I am d i s a p p o i n t e d i n m y s e l f , l b ) I don't l i k e m y s e l f . 2) I am d i s g u s t e d w i t h m y s e l f . 3) I h a t e m y s e l f . 0) I don't f e e l I am any worse t h a n anyone e l s e . 1) I am v e r y c r i t i c a l o f m y s e l f f o r my weaknesses o r m i s t a k e s . 2a) I blame m y s e l f f o r e v e r y t h i n g t h a t goes wrong. 2b) I f e e l I have many bad f a u l t s . 0) I don't have any t h o u g h t s o f harming m y s e l f . 1) I have t h o u g h t s o f harming m y s e l f b u t I would n ot c a r r y them o u t . 2a) I f e e l I would be b e t t e r o f f dead. 2b) I have d e f i n i t e p l a n s about c o m m i t t i n g s u i c i d e . 2c) I f e e l my f a m i l y would be b e t t e r o f f i f I were dead. 3) I would k i l l m y s e l f i f I c o u l d . 0) I don't c r y any more t h a n u s u a l . 1) I c r y more now t h a n I used t o . 2) I c r y a l l t h e ti m e now. I c a n ' t s t o p i t . 3) I used t o be a b l e t o c r y but now I c a n ' t c r y a t a l l even though I want t o . 0) I am no more i r r i t a t e d now t h a n I e v e r was. 1) I g e t annoyed o r i r r i t a t e d more e a s i l y t h a n I used t o . 2) I f e e l i r r i t a t e d a l l t h e t i m e . 3) I don't g e t i r r i t a t e d a t a l l a t t h e t h i n g s t h a t used t o i r r i t a t e me. 0) I have not l o s t i n t e r e s t i n o t h e r p e o p l e . 1) I am l e s s i n t e r e s t e d i n o t h e r p e o p l e now t h a n I used t o be. 2) I have l o s t most o f my i n t e r e s t i n o t h e r p e o p l e and have l i t t l e f e e l i n g f o r them. 3) I have l o s t a l l my i n t e r e s t i n o t h e r p e o p l e and don't c a r e about them a t a l l . 0) I make d e c i s i o n s about as w e l l as e v e r . 1) I am l e s s s u r e o f m y s e l f now and t r y t o put o f f making d e c i s i o n s . 2) I c a n ' t make d e c i s i o n s any more w i t h o u t h e l p . 3) I c a n ' t make any d e c i s i o n s a t a l l any more. 0) I don't f e e l I l o o k any worse t h a n I used t o . 1) I am w o r r i e d t h a t I am l o o k i n g o l d o r u n a t t r a c t i v e . 2) I f e e l t h a t t h e r e a r e permanent changes i n my appearance and th e y make me l o o k u n a t t r a c t i v e . 3) I f e e l t h a t I am u g l y o r r e p u l s i v e l o o k i n g . 8 9 15. (0) I can work about as well as before. (la) I t takes extra e f f o r t to get started at doing something. (lb) I don't work as well as I used to. (2) I have to push myself very hard to do anything. (3) I can't do any work at a l l . 16. (0) I can sleep as well as usual. (1) I wake up more t i r e d i n the morning than I used to. (2) I wake up 1-2 hours e a r l i e r than usual and f i n d i t hard to get back to sleep. (3) I wake up early every day and can't get more than 5 hours sleep. 17. (0) I don't get any more t i r e d than usual. (1) I get t i r e d more e a s i l y than I used to. (2) I get t i r e d from doing anything. (3) I get too t i r e d to do anything. 18. (0) My appetite i s no worse than usual. (1) My appetite i s not as good as i t used to be. (2) My appetite i s much worse now. (3) I have no appetite at a l l any more. 19. (0) I haven't l o s t much weight, i f any, l a t e l y . (1) I have l o s t more than 5 pounds. (2) I have l o s t more than 10 pounds. (3) I have l o s t more than 15 pounds. 2 0.(0) I am no more concerned about my health than usual. (1) I am concerned about aches and pains or upset stomach or constipation or other unpleasant feelings in my body. (2) I am so concerned with how I f e e l or what I f e e l that i t ' s hard to think of much else. (3) I am completely absorbed in what I f e e l . 21.(0) I have not noticed any recent changes i n my int e r e s t in sex. (1) I am less interested i n sex than I used to be. (2) I am much less interested in sex now. (3) I have l o s t interest i n sex completely. 9 0 Appendix D CES-D Using the scale below, indicate the number which best describes how often you f e l t or behaved t h i s way—DURING THE PAST WEEK. 1 = Rarely or none of the time (less than 1 day) 2 = Some or a l i t t l e of the time (1-2 days) 3 = Occasionally or a moderate amount of time (3-4 days) 4 = Most or a l l of the time (5-7 days) DURING THE PAST WEEK: 1. I was bothered by things that usually don't bother me. 2. I did not fee l l i k e eating; my appetite was poor. 3. I f e l t that I could not shake off the blues even with help from my family or friends. 4. I f e l t that I was just as good as other people. 5. I had trouble keeping my mind on what I was doing. 6. I f e l t depressed. 7. I f e l t that everything I did was an e f f o r t . 8. I f e l t hopeful about the future. 9. I thought my l i f e had been a f a i l u r e . 10. I f e l t f e a r f u l . 11. My sleep was r e s t l e s s . 12. I was happy. 13. I talked less than usual. 14. I f e l t lonely. 15. People were unfriendly. 16. I enjoyed l i f e . 17. I had crying s p e l l s . 18. I f e l t sad. 19. I f e l t that people d i s l i k e d me. 20. I could not get "going". 91 Appendix E  Conners Parent Rating Scale Please answer a l l questions. Beside each item below, indicate the degree of the problem by a check mark. not at just a pretty very a l l l i t t l e much much Picks at things (nails, fingers, hair, c l o t h i n g ) . Sassy to grown-ups. Problems with making or keeping friends. Excitable, impulsive. Wants to run things. Sucks or chews (thumb; clothing; blankets). Cries e a s i l y or often. Carries a chip on his shoulder. Daydreams. D i f f i c u l t y in learning. Restless i n the "squirmy" sense. Fearful (of new situations; new people or places; going to school). Restless, always up and on the go. Destructive. T e l l s l i e s or s t o r i e s that aren't true. Shy. Gets into more trouble than others same age. Speaks d i f f e r e n t l y from others same age (baby t a l k ; s t u t t e r i n g ; hard to understand). Denies mistakes or blames others. Quarrelsome. Pouts and sulks. Steals. Disobedient or obeys r e s e n t f u l l y . Worries more than other (about being alone; i l l n e s s or death). F a i l s to f i n i s h things. Feelings e a s i l y hurt. B u l l i e s others. Unable to stop a r e p e t i t i v e a c t i v i t y . Cruel. C h i l d i s h or immature (wants help he shouldn't need; c l i n g s ; needs constant reassurance). D i s t r a c t i b i l i t y or attention span a problem. 92 not a t j u s t a p r e t t y v e r y a l l l i t t l e much much Headaches. Mood changes q u i c k l y and d r a s t i c a l l y . Doesn't l i k e o r doesn't f o l l o w r u l e s o r r e s t r i c t i o n s . F i g h t s c o n s t a n t l y . Doesn't g e t a l o n g w i l l w i t h b r o t h e r s o r s i s t e r s . E a s i l y f r u s t r a t e d i n e f f o r t s . D i s t u r b s o t h e r c h i l d r e n . B a s i c a l l y an unhappy c h i l d . Problems w i t h e a t i n g (poor a p p e t i t e ; up between b i t e s ) . Stomach aches. Problems w i t h s l e e p ( c a n ' t f a l l a s l e e p ; up t o o e a r l y ; up i n t h e n i g h t ) . Other aches and p a i n s . V o m i t i n g o r nausea. F e e l c h e a t e d i n f a m i l y c i r c l e . B o a s t s and b r a g s . L e t s s e l f be pushed around. Bowel problems ( f r e q u e n t l y l o o s e ; i r r e g u l a r h a b i t s ; c o n s t i p a t i o n ) Appendix F L i f e S t r e s s Index L i f e s t r e s s might be d e f i n e d as bad t h i n g s t h a t happen i n yo u r l i f e o r as how s t r e s s e d you f e e l because o f t h e s e bad t h i n g s i n your l i f e . R e f l e c t on t h e p a s t y e a r , month and day. C i r c l e t h e number t h a t b e s t r e p r e s e n t s how much l i f e s t r e s s you have e x p e r i e n c e d o v e r each o f t h e s e p e r i o d s . L i f e s t r e s s e x p e r i e n c e d , a) o v e r t h e p a s t y e a r : 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 none some l o t s b) o v e r t h e p a s t month: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 none some l o t s c) t o d a y : 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 none some l o t s 0 Thank you. Appendix G I n s t r u c t i o n s f o r c o m p l e t i n g t h e mother r e a c t i o n s e c t i o n On t h e n e x t pages you w i l l f i n d 12 d e s c r i p t i o n s o f s i t u a t i o n s i n v o l v i n g mothers and c h i l d r e n . You a r e asked t o imagine t h a t you a r e t h e mother, and i s t h e c h i l d , i n each d e s c r i p t i o n . Your t a s k i s t o r a t e how you would respond t o t h i s b e h a v i o r . A l t h o u g h some o f t h e s i t u a t i o n s may not be t y p i c a l o f y our f a m i l y , p l e a s e s t r e t c h y o u r i m a g i n a t i o n and t r y t o put y o u r s e l f i n t h e s i t u a t i o n . I n d i c a t e y o u r r e s p o n s e s , w i t h an X, on t h e s c a l e s p r o v i d e d . There a r e no r i g h t o r wrong answers. P l e a s e be as h o n e s t as you can i n i n d i c a t i n g y o u r r e a c t i o n s . 95 Appendix H Global L i f e Event Context SITUATION # 1 Over the past year your grandmother f e l l and broke her hip, your dog was h i t by a car and k i l l e d i n s t a n t l y , the lunchtime exercise class you regularly attended at work was cancelled, you had to borrow $5000 for a downpayment on a car, and you ate a l o t of fast food and ended up gaining several extra pounds. Today you went through your usual routine and ran a few errands. Things went along okay. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. Later on the same day, your c h i l d p u l l s the cookie j a r off of the shelf and breaks i t . She y e l l s for you to come and clean up the broken pieces. SITUATION # 2 Over the past year your nephew died i n a freak car accident, your parents moved to another c i t y so your family got together less than usual, you were forced to put in longer hours at work, your bank foreclosed on a loan because they didn't receive the payment you sent, your neighbourhood got r e a l l y rundown. Today things went along as usual. Nothing out of the ordinary happened as you went through your d a i l y routine. It was just the same as any other average day. Later on the same day, you t e l l your c h i l d to play i n an adjacent room while you entertain a few friends. One of your guests comments on her noisy play. 96 SITUATION #3 Over the past year you received your divorce papers i n the mail, you stopped going for your regular swim because the pool was closed for major repairs, your o f f i c e at work was moved to a damp basement with no windows, you had to borrow $2500 from your parents to pay for new furniture, you f e l l down the s t a i r s , twisted your ankle, and had to use crutches for some time. Today was just l i k e any other day. You woke up, ran a few errands, and went through the usual d a i l y routine. Things went along okay. Nothing unusual happened. Later on the same day, you are looking forward to a quiet l e i s u r e l y dinner. Throughout the meal your c h i l d squirms in her chair and barely touches the food on her plate. SITUATION # 4 Over the past year your s i s t e r had to make a decision about having an abortion, you went out less because your favourite g i r l f r i e n d moved away, you had a series of disagreements with your supervisor at work and i t almost cost you your job, you had money problems because your landlord decided to rai s e the monthly rent, and you went through a period in which you f e l t t i r e d a l l the time and slept much more than usual. Today things went along okay. Things were neither r e a l l y good nor r e a l l y bad. You went through the same routine that you do every other day. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. Later on the same day, while you are entertaining guests, your c h i l d comes to you a second time to ask what time dinner w i l l be served. You know the meal won't be ready for at least another half hour. 97 Appendix I D a i l y H a s s l e s C o n t e x t SITUATION # 5 Over t h e p a s t y e a r n o t h i n g major happened i n your l i f e . You were s t i l l a t t h e same j o b , and, o t h e r t h a n a few minor c o m p l a i n t s , y o u r h e a l t h was good. Your s o c i a l l i f e was about t h e same as always. The p a s t y e a r has been v e r y s i m i l a r t o o t h e r y e a r s . Today your p a r e n t s c a l l e d t o c o m p l a i n t h a t t h e y don't see enough o f you, you d i d n ' t have t i m e f o r your u s u a l morning walk, you were g i v e n an u n r e a l i s t i c amount o f work t o do on yo u r j o b , you found out t h a t a summer c o u r s e you were i n t e r e s t e d i n c o s t s more tha n you wanted t o pay, and you burned a meal because t h e t i m e r on t h e s t o v e d i d n ' t work. L a t e r on t h e same day, you t e l l y o u r c h i l d t o come and c l e a n up t h e t o y s she l e f t on t h e k i t c h e n f l o o r . She y e l l s from t h e TV room, " I n a minute!" SITUATION # 6 Over t h e p a s t y e a r n o t h i n g out o f t h e o r d i n a r y happened i n your l i f e . You s t a y e d a t t h e same j o b , made about t h e same amount o f money and went out w i t h t h e same f r i e n d s as u s u a l . Your h e a l t h was g e n e r a l l y good. The p a s t y e a r has been v e r y s i m i l a r t o o t h e r y e a r s . Today your n e i g h b o u r s p l a y e d t h e i r s t e r e o much t o o l o u d , you got a p a r k i n g t i c k e t even though you were i n y o u r r e g u l a r space, some o f your f e l l o w w o r k ers went out f o r l u n c h but n e g l e c t e d t o i n v i t e you a l o n g , you l o s t a $20 b i l l w h i l e you were s h o p p i n g , and your c a r s t a r t e d making s t r a n g e n o i s e s . L a t e r on t h e same day, your c h i l d comes home from s c h o o l i n a v e r y grumpy mood. You n o t i c e a b r u i s e on h e r f a c e and ask h e r what happened. She s a y s , "Oh, n o t h i n g " . 98 SITUATION #7 Over t h e p a s t y e a r t h i n g s have gone a l o n g j u s t l i k e any o t h e r y e a r . You s t a y e d w i t h t h e same j o b and went out w i t h th e same group o f f r i e n d s . Everyone i n your f a m i l y has been q u i t e h e a l t h y . N o t h i n g major happened i n your l i f e . Today your s i s t e r c a l l e d t o say she c o u l d n ' t do you t h e f a v o u r she had pr o m i s e d , you had t o a t t e n d a s o c i a l g a t h e r i n g h o n o u r i n g a co-worker t h a t you d i s l i k e , you were a s s i g n e d a t e d i o u s p r o j e c t a t work, you went t o a t r a v e l agent t o book a t r i p b ut found t h a t t h e v a c a t i o n you had i n mind c o s t s more t h a n you want t o spend, you f e l t l i k e you were coming down w i t h a c o l d . L a t e r on t h e same day, your c h i l d comes i n f o r d i n n e r s t i l l w e a r i n g h e r good d r e s s t h a t ' s o n l y f o r s c h o o l . You n o t i c e a p a t c h o f d i r t on t h e s l e e v e . SITUATION # 8 Over t h e p a s t y e a r you h e l d t h e same p o s i t i o n a t work, had o n l y a few minor a i l m e n t s , and went out about t h e same amount as al w a y s . Your money s i t u a t i o n was about t h e same as i n o t h e r y e a r s . N o t h i n g major happened i n y o u r l i f e . Today y o u r b r o t h e r c a l l e d you and was u p s e t about a broke n r e l a t i o n s h i p , you mi s s e d a meeting o f your c h u r c h group t h a t you wanted t o a t t e n d , y o ur s u p e r v i s o r y e l l e d a t you i n f r o n t o f y o u r c o - w o r k e r s , you had t o r e t u r n some o f your g r o c e r i e s t o t h e s h e l v e s because you l e n t some o f your coupons t o a f r i e n d , and your h a i r d r y e r e x p l o d e d and t h e o u t l e t i n f r o n t of t h e bathroom m i r r o r no l o n g e r works. L a t e r on t h e same day, you stumble over your c h i l d ' s t o y s i n th e h a l l w a y . A h a l f hour e a r l i e r you t o l d h e r t o put h e r t o y s away and now she i s w a t c h i n g t e l e v i s i o n . 99 Appendix J No S t r e s s C o n t e x t SITUATION # 9 Over t h e p a s t y e a r t h i n g s s t a y e d p r e t t y much t h e same as i n o t h e r y e a r s . You s t a y e d a t t h e same j o b and v i s i t e d w i t h t h e same f r i e n d s . Your h e a l t h was g e n e r a l l y good. N o t h i n g major happened i n your l i f e . Today you went t h r o u g h t h e same r o u t i n e as most o t h e r days. E v e r y t h i n g went okay. N o t h i n g out o f t h e o r d i n a r y came up. T h i n g s were n e i t h e r r e a l l y good nor r e a l l y bad. L a t e r on t h e same day, your c h i l d has a snack a t t h e k i t c h e n t a b l e and s t a r t s p l a y i n g w i t h h e r g l a s s o f m i l k . She knocks t h e g l a s s o v e r , s p i l l i n g m i l k on t h e t a b l e and f l o o r . SITUATION # 10 Over t h e p a s t y e a r t h i n g s have gone a l o n g as al w a y s . Your h e a l t h was g e n e r a l l y good, you went out as much as u s u a l and you s t a y e d w i t h your same j o b . The p a s t y e a r has been v e r y s i m i l a r t o o t h e r y e a r s . Today you went t h r o u g h your d a i l y r o u t i n e and r a n a few e r r a n d s . There were no unexpected e v e n t s . T h i n g s were p r e t t y much l i k e any o t h e r day. L a t e r on t h e same day, when i t ' s t i m e f o r your c h i l d t o t a k e h e r cough s y r u p , she jumps o f f h e r c h a i r and runs down t h e h a l l away from you and t h e m e d i c i n e . SITUATION # 11 Over t h e p a s t y e a r you went t h r o u g h no major changes. You were s t i l l a t t h e same j o b , made about t h e same amount o f money and k e p t t h e same f r i e n d s . Other t h a n a few minor c o m p l a i n t s , y o u r h e a l t h was good. I t was an average y e a r . Today t h i n g s went f a i r l y smoothly. You d i d t h e same t h i n g s you do eve r y d a y and n o t h i n g out o f t h e o r d i n a r y happened. You d i d n ' t g e t any good news but n o t h i n g bad came up e i t h e r . L a t e r on t h e same day, you d e c i d e i t ' s t i m e t o t r i m y o u r c h i l d ' s h a i r . You weren't happy w i t h t h e b a r b e r l a s t t i m e so you d e c i d e t o t r y i t y o u r s e l f . Your c h i l d keeps i n s i s t i n g t h a t he wants t h e b a r b e r t o do i t . SITUATION # 12 Over t h e p a s t y e a r you have done t h e same t h i n g s you have done most o t h e r y e a r s . You ke p t t h e same j o b and v i s i t e d w i t h t h e same f r i e n d s . Your h e a l t h , and t h e h e a l t h o f t h o s e around you, was g e n e r a l l y good. I t was a t y p i c a l y e a r . Today n o t h i n g out o f t h e o r d i n a r y o c c u r r e d . You went t h r o u g h your d a i l y r o u t i n e w i t h o u t any unexpected happenings. I t was a p r e t t y average day. L a t e r on t h e same day, you a r e busy i n t h e k i t c h e n and have two p i l e s o f d i s h e s i n your hands when you t u r n t o see your c h i l d ' s p e t mouse s c u r r y i n g a c r o s s t h e f l o o r . I t s t a r t l e s you and you alm o s t drop t h e d i s h e s . 101 Appendix K Mother Reaction Scales IMAGINE THAT YOU ARE THE MOTHER, AND IS THE CHILD, IN THE DESCRIPTION. PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS BY CIRCLING THE NUMBER THAT BEST REFLECTS HOW YOU WOULD RESPOND TO THE CHILD BEHAVIOR. ARE NO RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWERS. THERE a) HOW UPSETTING WOULD YOU FIND THIS CHILD BEHAVIOR? 0 not upsetting somewhat upsetting very upsetting b) HOW LONG WOULD YOUR MOOD BE AFFECTED BY THIS BEHAVIOR? 0 not affected affected for an hour affected for more than a day c) HOW LIKELY WOULD YOU BE TO DISCIPLINE YOUR CHILD FOR THIS BEHAVIOR? 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 u n l i k e l y maybe very to respond l i k e l y to respond respond d) HOW INTENSE WOULD YOUR RESPONSE TO THIS CHILD BEHAVIOR BE? no response moderate response intense response e) WHICH ONE OF THE FOLLOWING THINGS WOULD YOU DO FIRST IN RESPONSE TO THIS CHILD BEHAVIOR? send the c h i l d to his room or take away p r i v i l e g e not respond at a l l ignore the behavior y e l l at or spank the c h i l d reason with the c h i l d reprimand the c h i l d other f) HOW MUCH OF A PROBLEM DO YOU THINK THIS CHILD BEHAVIOR IS? 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 not a somewhat of a big problem a problem problem g) HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK THE CHILD ACTED THIS WAY ON PURPOSE? not on purpose somewhat on purpose very much on purpose Appendix L Stress Manipulation Check Think back to the description of the year, and of the day, p r i o r to the c h i l d behavior. With t h i s i n mind, please answer the following questions by c i r c l i n g a number on the scale. How much stress would you f e e l i f the things described in the s i t u a t i o n a c t u a l l y happened to you? 0 1 2 3 4 5. 6 none some l o t s How much would these events a f f e c t the way you went about your d a i l y routine? 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 not at somewhat l o t s a l l How l i k e l y are such events to happen i n your l i f e ? 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 not at l i k e l y somewhat l i k e l y very l i k e l y Appendix M Recent S t r e s s Index W h i l e you were f i l l i n g out t h e forms, d i d a n y t h i n g happen t o i n c r e a s e y o ur f e e l i n g s o f s t r e s s (eg., y o u r c h i l d s t a r t e d t o c r y , you g o t a d i s t u r b i n g phone c a l l e t c . ) ? I f y e s , p l e a s e d e s c r i b e t h e event b r i e f l y and show how s t r e s s f u l i t was on t h e s c a l e p r o v i d e d . No Yes ( P l e a s e d e s c r i b e t h e event) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 not a t somewhat v e r y a l l s t r e s s f u l s t r e s s f u l s t r e s s f u l Thank you. 105 Appendix N P i l o t Study A) F o r each d e s c r i p t i o n o f c h i l d b e h a v i o r you r e a d , p l e a s e i n d i c a t e on t h e answer form p r o v i d e d : a) how s t r e s s f u l you found t h e c h i l d b e h a v i o r t o be: none some l o t s b) how much you t h i n k t h e c h i l d a c t e d d e l i b e r a t e l y t o annoy h i s mother: not somewhat d e f i n i t e l y d e l i b e r a t e d e l i b e r a t e d e l i b e r a t e c) how s u r e you a r e about t h i s r a t i n g (b) v e r y f a i r l y not s u r e s u r e s u r e d) how much o f a problem you t h i n k t h i s c h i l d ' s b e h a v i o r i s : not a problem somewhat p r o b l e m a t i c v e r y p r o b l e m a t i c 106 B) F o r each d e s c r i p t i o n o f l i f e e v e n t s , p l e a s e i n d i c a t e on t h e answer form p r o v i d e d : a) how much s t r e s s you would f e e l i f t h e s e t h i n g s a c t u a l l y happened t o you: no some a l o t o f s t r e s s s t r e s s s t r e s s b) how n e g a t i v e you found t h e l i f e e v e n t s t o be: v e r y p o s i t i v e n e u t r a l v e r y n e g a t i v e c) how l i k e l y i t i s t h a t t h e s e e v e n t s would happen i n r e a l l i f e : n o t a t a l l l i k e l y somewhat l i k e l y v e r y l i k e l y 

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