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23-06-2017 | Uitgave 4/2018

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 4/2018

Parental Depressive Symptoms as a Predictor of Outcome in the Treatment of Child Depression

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 4/2018
Auteurs:
Dikla Eckshtain, Lauren Krumholz Marchette, Jessica Schleider, John R. Weisz

Abstract

Child depression is an impairing condition for which psychotherapies have shown modest effects. Parental depression is a risk factor for development of child depression and might also be negatively associated with child depression treatment outcomes. To explore this possibility, we analyzed data from a study in which children were treated for depression after parental depressive symptoms had been assessed at baseline. Among children treated for depression in a randomized controlled trial, we identified 31 who had child- and parent-report pre- and post-treatment data on child symptoms and parent-report of pre-treatment parental depressive symptoms. Children were aged 8–13, 77% boys, and 52% Caucasian, 13% African-American, 6% Latino, and 29% multi-racial. Analyses focused on differences in trajectories of change (across weekly measurements), and post-treatment symptoms among children whose parents did (n = 12) versus did not (n = 19) have elevated depressive symptoms at baseline. Growth curve analyses showed markedly different trajectories of change for the two groups, by both child-report (p = 0.03) and parent-report (p = 0.03) measures: children of parents with less severe depression showed steep symptom declines, but children of parents with more severe depression showed flat trajectories with little change in symptoms over time. ANCOVAs showed lower post-treatment child symptoms for children of parents with less severe depression versus parents with more severe depression (p = 0.05 by child report, p = 0.01 by parent report). Parental depressive symptoms predict child symptom trajectories and poorer child treatment response, and may need to be addressed in treatment.

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