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Factors that might exacerbate or mitigate the transmission of depressive symptoms from parents to adolescents and the continuity of depressive symptoms into early adulthood are poorly understood. This study tested the hypothesis that the intergenerational transmission and stability of depressive symptoms would be stronger for girls than boys over adolescence and into early adulthood, while considering the possibility that the pattern of gender moderation might vary depending on parent gender and developmental timing. The participants were 667 rural Midwestern adolescents (52 % female) and their parents. Survey data on maternal and paternal depressive symptoms (at youth age 11) and on adolescent and young adult depressive symptoms (at youth ages 11, 18, and 21) were analyzed via multiple group structural equation modeling. Maternal depressive symptoms predicted increased late adolescent depressive symptoms for girls but not boys, and adolescent depressive symptoms were more stable in girls. Paternal depressive symptoms predicted increased late adolescent depressive symptoms for all youth. The findings suggest the need for early, tailored interventions.
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- Gender Moderation of the Intergenerational Transmission and Stability of Depressive Symptoms from Early Adolescence to Early Adulthood
W. Alex Mason
Mary B. Chmelka
Richard L. Spoth
- Springer US