Family antecedents and consequences of trajectories of depressive symptoms from adolescence to young adulthood: a life course investigation.

Department of Human Development and Family Studies/Institute of Social and Behavioral Research, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50010, USA.
Journal of Health and Social Behavior (Impact Factor: 2.72). 01/2009; 49(4):468-83. DOI: 10.1177/002214650804900407
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Using prospective data from 485 adolescents over a 10-year period, the present study identifies distinct segments of depressive symptom trajectories--a nonsignificant slope during adolescence and a significant negative slope during the transition to adulthood. The study hypothesized that different age-graded life experiences would differentially influence these depressive symptom growth parameters. The findings show that early stressful experiences associated with family-of-origin SES affect the initial level of depressive symptoms. Experiences with early transitional events during adolescence explain variation in the slope of depressive symptoms during the transition to adulthood. The growth parameters of depressive symptoms and an early transition from adolescence to adulthood constrain young adult social status attainment. Consistent with the life-course perspective, family-of-origin adversity is amplified across the life-course by successively contingent adverse circumstances involving life-transition difficulties and poor mental health. The findings also provide evidence for intergenerational transmission of social adversity through health trajectories and social pathways.

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