In recent years, an increasing amount of research has identified various parenting dimensions related to childhood depression among Chinese children and adolescents. However, much of the extant literature reports inconsistent findings, and lacks methodological rigor and theoretical guidance. The purpose of this review is to synthesize and critically assess the existing literature on the association between parenting and childhood depression among Chinese children and adolescents. The included studies were investigated based on choice of methodology and the use of appropriate theoretical underpinnings in order to inform insightful directions for future inquiries. Literature was systematically searched using eight English and three Chinese electronic databases. The review included quantitative peer-reviewed articles that focused on parenting behaviors and childhood depression among Chinese children and adolescents 0 to 18 years. Quality assessments were adapted based on existing validated instruments and the study characteristics in order to assess the implemented methodologies and theory utilization. The search concluded with thirty-eight articles identified for inclusion. Findings suggest the associations between parenting and childhood depression were generally small to moderate but non-trivial. Various dimensions of parenting were differentially associated with childhood depression. Authoritative and authoritarian parenting styles were most consistently related to childhood depression, however, the former reduced childhood depression, while an authoritarian style resulted in more childhood depression. Based on the detailed methodological and theory utilization quality assessment, several limitations of the reviewed studies were noted, such as the lack of prospective studies; the use of single informant and questionnaire measures; insufficient use of theoretical frameworks; and unclear conceptualization and operationalization of the parenting constructs. This review provides recommendations for social workers and public health practitioners to better incorporate consideration of varying parenting dimensions into family-based interventions designed to reduce depression among Chinese children and adolescents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science