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BACKGROUND: In Western countries, a history of major depression (MD) is associated with reports of received parenting that is low in warmth and caring and high in control and authoritarianism. Does a similar pattern exist in women in China? METHOD: Received parenting was assessed by a shortened version of the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) in two groups of Han Chinese women: 1970 clinically ascertained cases with recurrent MD and 2597 matched controls. MD was assessed at personal interview. RESULTS: Factor analysis of the PBI revealed three factors for both mothers and fathers: warmth, protectiveness, and authoritarianism. Lower warmth and protectiveness and higher authoritarianism from both mother and father were significantly associated with risk for recurrent MD. Parental warmth was positively correlated with parental protectiveness and negatively correlated with parental authoritarianism. When examined together, paternal warmth was more strongly associated with lowered risk for MD than maternal warmth. Furthermore, paternal protectiveness was negatively and maternal protectiveness positively associated with risk for MD. CONCLUSIONS: Although the structure of received parenting is very similar in China and Western countries, the association with MD is not. High parental protectiveness is generally pathogenic in Western countries but protective in China, especially when received from the father. Our results suggest that cultural factors impact on patterns of parenting and their association with MD.

Original publication

DOI

10.1017/S0033291711001942

Type

Journal article

Journal

Psychol Med

Publication Date

05/2012

Volume

42

Pages

921 - 930

Keywords

Adult, Authoritarianism, China, Culture, Depressive Disorder, Major, Factor Analysis, Statistical, Female, Humans, Interview, Psychological, Middle Aged, Object Attachment, Parent-Child Relations, Parenting, Risk, Risk Factors