Parents’ Psychological Well-being and Story Reading: A Six Year Cross-Lagged Analysis
Depressive symptoms, Global sense of personal control, Self-esteem, Story reading, Transition to parenthood
Journal of Child and Family Studies
Research has documented significant influences of parental psychological well-being on parenting. Yet, few studies have examined multiple measures of psychological well-being simultaneously to understand the underlying pathways and mediation factors. The present study employed new parents, without chronically high depressive symptoms, to examine across-time associations between the frequency of story reading and multiple measures of parental psychological well-being, namely the depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and global sense of personal control, in the first six years after becoming parents. Cross-lagged panel models with three time intervals were constructed to examine the across-time associations with 177 new parents. Significant direct and indirect effects between parental psychological well-being and story reading in the first six years after childbirth were identified. In the first three years after childbirth, new parents with more depressive symptoms and lower self-esteem tended to engage in more frequent story reading. New parents’ global sense of personal control, when the child was one to three years old, had a direct positive effect on story reading two to three years later. Through the mediation of self-esteem, parents with low psychological well-being after childbirth tended to engage in more frequent story reading when the child was three to six years old. Furthermore, the indirect effects of story reading on parental well-being were mediated by self-esteem and global sense of personal control. Findings from the present study underscored the importance of considering multiple measures of psychological well-being in understanding the bidirectional interactions between new parents’ well-being and early story reading in early family context.
Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Chen, Eva Yi Ju and Tung, Eli Yi Liang, "Parents’ Psychological Well-being and Story Reading: A Six Year Cross-Lagged Analysis" (2022). Faculty Publications. 5247.