A multimethod, multi-informant investigation of maternal validation and invalidation of female adolescents who engage in self-inflicted injury.

Objective: This study aimed to characterize parenting behaviors of mothers of adolescent daughters who engage in repetitive self-inflicted injury (SII) and to test hypothesized associations between parenting behaviors and adolescent psychopathology. Method: Participants were mothers and their 14- to 18-year-old daughters (N = 51 dyads), including 24 (47%) adolescents with a history of SII and 27 (53%) with no history of SII. Dyads completed questionnaires assessing perceived maternal validation and invalidation and participated in face-to-face interactions, which were later rated for parenting behaviors. Results: The two groups did not significantly differ on validation and invalidation across all informants and methods of assessment. For the sample as a whole, adolescent perceptions of maternal parenting behaviors interacted to predict adolescent psychopathology. In particular, adolescent perceptions of high maternal invalidation in interaction with perceptions of low validation were associated with higher levels of self-reported borderline pathology and externalizing problems and mother-reported adolescent internalizing and externalizing problems. Conclusions: We failed to find support for the hypothesized parenting deficits in mothers of female adolescents engaging in SII. Adolescent perceptions of their mothers’ high levels of invalidation and low levels of validation were associated with higher levels of adolescent psychopathology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)