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01-09-2008 | Original Paper | Uitgave 8/2008

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 8/2008

Course and Severity of Maternal Depression: Associations with Family Functioning and Child Adjustment

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 8/2008
Cynthia Ewell Foster, Melissa C. Webster, Myrna M. Weissman, Daniel J. Pilowsky, Priya J. Wickramaratne, A. John Rush, Carroll W. Hughes, Judy Garber, Erin Malloy, Gabrielle Cerda, Susan G. Kornstein, Jonathan E. Alpert, Stephen R. Wisniewski, Madhukar H. Trivedi, Maurizio Fava, Cheryl A. King


Number of lifetime episodes, duration of current episode, and severity of maternal depression were investigated in relation to family functioning and child adjustment. Participants were the 151 mother–child pairs in the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) child multi-site study. Mothers were diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder; children (80 males and 71 females) ranged in age from 7 to 17 years. Measures of child adjustment included psychiatric diagnoses, internalizing and externalizing symptoms, and functional impairment. Measures of family functioning included family cohesion, expressiveness, conflict, organization, and household control; parenting measures assessed maternal acceptance and psychological control. Children of mothers with longer current depressive episodes were more likely to have internalizing and externalizing symptoms, with this association being moderated by child gender. Mothers with more lifetime depressive episodes were less likely to use appropriate control in their homes.

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