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Title: The roles of parental bonding and self-esteem in depression.
Author: Moore, Christopher Paul.
Awarding Body: University of Keele
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 1997
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The research contained in this thesis was concerned with the parental care afforded to children and the effect of that parenting on the child's self-concept in relation to the aetiology of major depressive disorder (MDD). It was based upon psychoanalytic and cognitive theories of depression, which implicate negative relationships with significant others in childhood as of aetiological importance in MDD. Both schools also argue that this link is mediated by negative self-beliefs which a child develops as a consequence of such relationships. An attempt was made to identify, firstly, which aspects of parenting style are associated with such depression and, secondly, whether low self-esteem acts as a vulnerability factor for MDD. A measure of 'self-concept' was also created to test whether the way in which an individual thinks about themselves occupies a distinct role in the aetiology of MDD. A measure of neuroticism was taken in order to examine the role that this personality characteristic plays in relation to parenting and self-esteem. The main finding was that lack of maternal care was indirectly associated with MDD via 'selfconcept' and self-esteem, with the former preceding the latter in a hypothesised temporal order. A further indirect link was found between high levels of paternal overprotection and depression; this link being mediated, firstly, by self-esteem and, secondly, by neuroticism. It is suggested that there may be two separate routes to MDD and that these routes may be based upon 'sociotropic' and 'autonomy' schemas. The main suggestion, however, is that low levels of maternal care lead to the development of a sociotropic depressogenic schema and that this schema represents a vulnerability to depression. It is suggested that this schema will only lead to depression, however, if an individual experiences a schema relevant negative life-event which lowers self-esteem and sets up a cyclical process culminating in major depressive disorder.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Parental care Psychology