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Intergenerational Continuity in Depression: The Importance of Time-Varying Effects, Maternal Co-morbid Health Risk Behaviors and Childs Gender.

NCJ Number
Journal of Youth and Adolescence Volume: 47 Issue: 10 Dated: 2018 Pages: 2143-2168
Megan B. Augustyn; Celia J Fulco; Kimberly L. Henry
Date Published
26 pages
This study examined intergenerational continuity in depressive symptoms between mother-child dyads as a flexible function of child age and accounting for the potential moderating role of maternal co-morbid health risk behaviors.
Using prospective, self-report data collected yearly from 413 mother-child dyads (210 mother-son dyads and 203 mother-daughter dyads) between child ages 12-17, the results indicate that the effect of maternal depressive symptoms on daughters' depressive symptoms steadily increased throughout adolescence; whereas, the effect of maternal depressive symptoms on sons' depressive symptoms was relatively small, stable, and non-significant during mid-adolescence before increasing in later adolescence. A positive interactive effect between maternal depressive symptoms and intimate partner violence was observed for sons and maternal depressive symptoms and substance use for daughters. A negative interactive effect of maternal depressive symptoms and substance use was observed among sons. Overall, this study identified particular subgroups for whom intervention programming is most beneficial and suggests targeting health risk behaviors of mothers to lessen the impact of maternal depressive symptoms on offspring. (publisher abstract modified)