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12-01-2018 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 10/2018

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 10/2018

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

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 10/2018
Auteurs:
Megan Bears Augustyn, Celia J. Fulco, Kimberly L. Henry

Abstract

Intergenerational continuity in depressive symptoms is well established between mother and child, but there are still important facets of this relationship that are underexplored. We examine intergenerational continuity in depressive symptoms between mother–child dyads as a flexible function of child age and account 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 increases throughout adolescence whereas the effect of maternal depressive symptoms on sons’ depressive symptoms is relatively small, stable, and non-significant during mid-adolescence before increasing in effect in later adolescence. A positive interactive effect between maternal depressive symptoms and intimate partner violence is observed for sons and maternal depressive symptoms and substance use for daughters. A negative interactive effect of maternal depressive symptoms and substance use is observed among sons. Overall, this study identifies 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.

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