Effects of Physical and Emotional Maternal Hostility on Adolescents’ Depression and Reoffending

April Gile Thomas, Nina Ozbardakci, Adam Fine, Laurence Steinberg, Paul J. Frick, Elizabeth Cauffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This study examines whether (1) mothers vary in the way they express hostility toward their delinquent adolescent offspring, (2) different types of maternal hostility differentially affect adolescents’ depression and recidivism, and (3) adolescent depression serves as a mechanism through which maternal hostility predicts later reoffending. The sample consists of 1,216 male first-time offenders, aged 13–17 years (M = 15.80, SD = 1.29). Confirmatory factor analysis supported the premise that maternal hostility could be distinguished into two subtypes: emotional and physical hostility. Adolescent offenders who experienced emotional or physical hostility by their mothers reported greater depressive symptoms and reoffending 6 months later. Further, the relation between maternal hostility (of each type) and adolescent reoffending was partially explained by depressive symptomology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-437
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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