Zhang, Xing (2019). Transitions into Parenthood: Examining the Complexities of Childrearing Mother–Child Relationships and Depressive Symptoms in the Transition to Adulthood: An Examination of Racial and Ethnic Differences
Depressive symptoms are higher among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. Many studies have evidenced associations between school disconnectedness and depressive symptoms by race and ethnicity in adolescence (Joyce & Early, 2014; Walsemann, Bell, & Maitra, 2011). Given that adolescents spend most of their time at home when they are not at school (Larson & Richards, 2001), it is important to understand how mother-child relationships may moderate school disconnectedness, and how mother–child relationships may serve as a protective buffer for depressive symptoms in the transition to adulthood. I use data from Waves II and III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) from 1995 to 2002 (n = 9,766) and OLS regression analysis to examine how school disconnectedness in adolescence is associated with depressive symptoms in the transition to adulthood, and how mother–child relationships in adolescence moderate these associations in the United States. I examine differences in these relationships across racial and ethnic groups. I find that school disconnectedness in adolescence is associated with increased depressive symptoms in the transition to adulthood, and that maternal warmth and communication moderates the association between school disconnectedness and depressive symptoms. Maternal relationship quality in adolescence serves as an important protective factor for mental health in the transition to adulthood.