Parental psychopathology can affect child functioning, and vice versa. We examined bidirectional associations between parent and offspring psychopathology in 5,536 children and their parents. We asked three questions: (a) are parent-to-child associations stronger than child-to-parent associations? (b) are mother-to-child associations stronger than father-to-child associations? and (c) do within- and between-person effects contribute to bidirectional associations between parent and offspring psychopathology? Our findings suggest that only within-rater bidirectional associations of parent and offspring psychopathology can be consistently detected, with no difference between mothers and fathers. Child psychopathology was hardly associated with parental psychopathology. No evidence for cross-rater child-to-parent associations was found suggesting that the within-rater child-to-parent associations reflect shared method variance. Moreover, within-person change accounted for a part of the variance observed.

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Journal Child Development
Organisation Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam
Xerxa, Y. (Yllza), Rescorla, L.A. (Leslie A.), van der Ende, J, Hillegers, M.H.J, Verhulst, F.C, & Tiemeier, H.W. (2020). From Parent to Child to Parent: Associations Between Parent and Offspring Psychopathology. Child Development. doi:10.1111/cdev.13402