- Prof. Shim identifies children’s internalizing and externalizing problems on a renowned journal
Professor Sook-young Shim of the Department of Early Childhood Education of Sookmyung Women’s University’s Graduate School of Professional Studies, along with Professor Seon-ah Lim of Jeonbuk National University, published a short-term longitudinal study on the effects of parenting stress and depression of Korean fathers and mothers on children＇s internalization and externalization problem behaviors. It was published on March 10 in the renowned academic journal SSCI, Journal of Child and Family Studies.
(Title of Paper: Effects of Parenting Stress and Depressive Symptoms on Children＇s Internalizing and Externalizing Problems)
All parents experience stress while raising their children, but especially parents with young children experience higher stress and depression than parents with children of different ages or couples without children. These parents＇ mental and psychological characteristics seriously negatively affect their young children. Several studies have revealed that parental stress and depression negatively affect children＇s behavior, but most studies have focused on either the mother or the father. This is why it is difficult to find a study that has longitudinally investigated how fathers and mothers influence each other and how mutual influences between the parents affect their children＇s behavior. Accordingly, Professor Shim＇s research team analyzed 1,358 families (father, mother, child) from the data of Panel Study on Korean Children (2012-2014) using actor-partner independence model and structural equation modeling. They empirically verified the effect of parenting stress of father and mother on depression of spouses as well as self and the mutual influence between both parents on internalization and externalization problem behavior of children.
According to Professor Shim, the study clearly found that parenting stress affects not only the self, but also the depression of the spouse, and this mutual influence between both parents leads to children’s internalization and externalization problem. Professor Shim emphasized, "In order to reduce parenting stress and depression, and children＇s problem behaviors, positive parental role programs must be activated above all else.” In addition, she emphasized that in order to reduce parenting stress and depression, various childcare services and in-home parenting support services should be activated, and a plan should be established so that family support services for work-family balance can be made more concrete and realistic.
Regarding the results of this study, Professor Shim said, "Since families are complexly intertwined, the mental and psychological characteristics of the father and mother must be considered together in order to prevent or reduce the problem behavior of children,” and “Above all, because, whether it be mothers or fathers, parenting stress and depression of both parents directly affect the problem behavior of children, various measures at the social and national level to reduce parenting stress or depression of parents are needed.”