The role of depression and emotion regulation on parenting stress in a sample of mothers with cancer
- 34 Downloads
The aim of the current study was to investigate if and to what extent depression and emotional regulation strategies (namely, cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression) might lead to parenting stress in a sample of mothers with cancer and in a sample of healthy mothers.
A sample of mothers with cancer (clinical group; n = 64) and a sample of healthy mothers (control group; n = 80) were administered self-report questionnaires investigating parenting stress (the parenting stress index), depressive symptoms (the Zung depression self-rating scale) and emotion regulation strategies (the emotion regulation questionnaire).
Depressive levels represented the most significant predictor of maternal parenting stress in both groups (p < .001). In addition, cognitive reappraisal (p < .05) but not expressive suppression significantly predicted parenting stress exclusively in the group of mothers with cancer. Finally, cognitive reappraisal was negatively and significantly associated with time since cancer diagnosis to survey.
This study highlights that depressive levels and cognitive reappraisal may play a significant role in parenting stress. The systematic assessment of these variables in women with an oncological diagnosis might help mental health professionals to identify those mothers at risk of developing higher levels of parenting stress ensuring adequate support and preventing negative effects on the parent–child relationship.
KeywordsCancer Oncology Parenting stress Depression Emotion regulation Cognitive reappraisal
Parenting Stress Index Short Form
The authors thank Dr. Di Silvestre of the Santo Spirito Hospital (Pescara, Italy), Dr. Caloro of the Antonio Perrino Hospital (Brindisi, Italy) and Dr. Carapezza of the Garibaldi-Nesima Hospital (Catania, Italy) and all the mothers who agreed to participate to the study.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
- 1.World Health Organization (2016) Cancer Retrieved from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs297/en/
- 6.Banks E, Byles JE, Gibson RE, Rodgers B, Latz IK, Robinson IA, Williamson AB, Jorm LR (2010) Is psychological distress in people living with cancer related to the fact of diagnosis, current treatment or level of disability? Findings from a large Australian study. Med J Aust 193(5 SUPPL):S62–S67PubMedGoogle Scholar
- 15.Abidin RR (1995) Parenting stress index. In: professional manual, third edn. Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc, OdessaGoogle Scholar
- 19.Adler NE, Page AE (2008) Cancer care for the whole patient: meeting psychosocial health needs. the National Academies Press, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
- 24.Marcoulides GA, Hershberger SL (1997) Multivariate statistical methods. A first course. Erlbaum, MahwahGoogle Scholar
- 25.Tambelli R, Cerniglia L, Cimino S, Ballarotto G (2015) Parent-infant interactions in families with women diagnosed with postnatal depression: a longitudinal study on the effects of a psychodynamic treatment. Front Psychol 6:1210. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01210
- 27.Murray L (1988) Effects of postnatal depression on early infant development: direct studies of early mother-infant interactions. In: Kumar R, Brockington IF (eds) Motherhood and mental illness. Butterworth, London, pp 159–190Google Scholar