The Effects Of Sad Mood On Reports Of Parents' Caregiving Behaviors

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Journal Of Psychopathology And Behavioral Assessment


Two studies examined the hypothesis that recollections of parents’ child-rearing behaviors on the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI: Parker, Tupling, & Brown, 1979) are influenced by current mood. Study 1 investigated the effects of sad versus neutral mood induction on PBI scores in 50 college students. Participants rated their parents as less caring following the sad mood induction than following the neutral induction. Study 2 investigated the effects of naturally occurring changes in depressive symptoms on PBI scores over a two month period. Changes in depressive symptoms correlated with changes in father care scores and tended to correlate with changes in mother care scores. Findings from both studies suggest that retrospective reports of parenting are susceptible to mood bias and highlight the limits of using cross sectional designs to explore the relationship between parenting and depression.