The Repercussions of Parental Depression for Perceptions of Coparental Cooperation
Objective This study investigates the repercussions of parental depression for perceptions of coparental cooperation. Background Depression is a common mental health condition that can interrupt the family system by constraining mothers' and fathers' abilities to perform parenting roles. There are also reasons to expect that the relationship between depression and coparental cooperation varies by parents' residential and repartnership status. Method In this article, the authors used longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 3,494) and structural equation modeling to examine the relationship between parental prior and current depression and coparental cooperation, the explanatory power of four sets of mediators (relationship status and quality, parenting stress, economic well-being, and child behavior), and how residential and repartnership status moderate the associations between parental depression and coparental cooperation. Findings Results suggest three primary findings. First, both prior and current maternal and paternal depression had repercussions for coparental relationships. Second, the association between parental depression and coparental cooperation was indirect, operating predominately through relationship status and quality. Third, the association between parental depression and coparental cooperation was, by and large, not contingent on parental residential status or repartnership status. Conclusion These findings elucidate the pathways and contingencies through which parental depression alters the coparental relationship.
Turney, Kristin, and Jessica Halliday Hardie. 2021. “The Repercussions of Parental Depression for Perceptions of Coparental Cooperation.” Journal of Marriage and Family 83(2):466–481.