Family Discord and Stress Predictors of Depression and Other Disorders in Adolescent Children of Depressed and Nondepressed Women

Department of Psychology, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563, USA.
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 7.26). 09/2004; 43(8):994-1002. DOI: 10.1097/01.chi.0000127588.57468.f6
Source: PubMed


To test the hypothesis that family stress variables are associated with the effects of maternal depression on offspring diagnoses and examined whether such factors may be differentially associated with disorders in offspring of depressed and never-depressed women.
Eight hundred sixteen mothers and their 15-year-old children in an Australian community completed cross-sectional assessments of mother and youth diagnoses, interviewer-rated and self-reported quality of marital relationship/status, quality of parent-child relationship, and interviews for youth chronic and episodic stress. Women with depression histories were oversampled and included 458 never-depressed and 358 women with current or past major depressive episodes or dysthymic disorder.
Significant interaction effects were found between maternal depression and family discord/stress variables such that high levels of environmental risk factors were significantly associated with youth depression in children of depressed women compared with low levels of adverse conditions and were generally less associated with depression in children of nondepressed women. Nondepressive disorders were associated with adverse family and stress factors for both groups of children.
The results are consistent with a multiple risk factor model of depression transmission in high-risk families and suggest a pattern of reactivity to adverse conditions among children of depressed women. The results suggest that psychosocial factors may contribute to diagnoses in offspring of depressed women in community samples.

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    • "While the literature suggests various risk factors are associated with the development of anxiety and depression, the positive association between perceived stress, anxiety, and depression has been demonstrated in numerous studies [12] [13]. High levels of perceived stress increases the risk for an individual to develop anxiety and depression . "
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    ABSTRACT: Extensive research shows university students experience high levels of stress, which can lead to the development of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Preliminary evidence supports the role of psychosocial factors such as perceived social support (PSS) and campus con-nectedness (CC) as protective factors in the development of mental health problems in university students. However, research conducted on the potential ameliorating effects of social support on stress applying Cohen and Wills' (1985) stress-buffering hypothesis produced weak, inconsistent, and even contradictory results. In addition, little attention has been given to examining the pro-tective role of CC in the relationships between perceived stress, anxiety, and depression. The cur-rent study examined the applicability of CC and PSS in buffering the relationships been perceived stress, anxiety, and depression across an international sample comprised of university students (N = 206) from Australia, Hong Kong, and the United States. The prediction that CC and PSS would moderate the relationships between perceived stress, anxiety, and depression was partially sup-ported. The results indicated CC moderated the relationship between perceived stress and de-pression but did not moderate the relationship between perceived stress and anxiety. PSS did not moderate the relationship between perceived stress and depression or the relationship between perceived stress and anxiety, thus rejecting the stress-buffering hypothesis. These findings sug-gest less emphasis should be placed on PSS as a protective factor, with universities focusing on enhancing CC to reduce the high prevalence of mental health problems to promote psychological wellbeing among students.
    2nd Psychology and Health Conference, Beijing, China; 11/2014
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    • "The present study was designed to elucidate , in a sample of adolescent girls at familial risk for developing depression, the relation between these factors and physiological functioning of the HPA axis. Results of our investigation confirm previous findings that familial risk for depression is associated with both higher diurnal cortisol (Lupien et al., 2000; Mannie et al., 2007; Vreeburg et al., 2010) and greater exposure to stressful parenting behaviors (Hammen et al., 2004; Lovejoy et al., 2000). Our findings add to this literature by demonstrating that having a depressed mother is associated with an increased tendency to use involuntary , as opposed to voluntary, coping strategies in dealing with parent–child stress and that this tendency is associated with an exacerbation of HPA axis dysfunction. "
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    ABSTRACT: Having a depressed mother is one of the strongest predictors of depression in adolescence. We investigated whether the stress of having a mother with recurrent depression is associated with dysfunction in adolescents in the HPA axis and whether the tendency to use involuntary coping strategies in dealing with this stress is associated with exacerbation of dysfunction in this system. Sixty-four never-disordered daughters of mothers with recurrent depression (high risk) and 64 never-disordered daughters of never-disordered mothers (low risk) completed diurnal cortisol and stress assessments. High-risk girls secreted more diurnal cortisol than did low-risk girls. Whereas low-risk girls secreted higher levels of cortisol with increasing stress associated with having a depressed mother, no such relation was present in high-risk girls. Finally, in contrast to low-risk girls, girls at familial risk for depression who more frequently used involuntary versus voluntary coping exhibited the greatest elevations in diurnal cortisol. These findings indicate that a tendency to utilize involuntary, as opposed to voluntary, coping strategies in dealing with stress involving maternal depression exacerbates already high levels of cortisol in youth at risk for depression. Future research that examines whether interventions aimed at increasing the use of voluntary coping strategies normalizes HPA axis dysfunction is of interest.
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    • "which may also promote the development of internalizing disorders , including child anxiety (Cicchetti, 1990; Eisenberg, Fabes, Carlo, & Karbon, 1992; Eisenberg et al., 1996; Hammen, Brennan, & Shih, 2004; Jones, Eisenberg, Fabes, & MacKinnon, 2002; Saarni, 1999; Shipman & Zeman, 2001). There has been very little research addressing the predictors of emotion socialization in general, but given the emerging evidence for a variety of child outcomes related to maternal emotion socialization, it is important to understand how mothers' responses to negative emotions develop . "
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    ABSTRACT: Although developmental research continues to connect parenting behaviors with child outcomes, it is critical to examine how child behaviors influence parenting behaviors. Given the emotional, cognitive, and social costs of maladaptive parenting, it is vital to understand the factors that influence maternal socialization behaviors. The current study examined children's observed emotion regulatory behaviors in two contexts (low-threat and high-threat novelty) as one influence. Mother-child dyads (n = 106) with toddlers of 24 months of age participated in novelty episodes from which toddler emotion regulation behaviors (i.e., caregiver-focused, attention, and self-soothing) were coded, and mothers reported their use of emotion socialization strategies when children were 24 and 36 months. We hypothesized that gender-specific predictive relations would occur, particularly from regulatory behaviors in the low-threat contexts. Gender moderated the relation between caregiver-focused emotion regulation in low-threat contexts and nonsupportive emotion socialization. Results from the current study inform the literature on the salience of child-elicited effects on the parent-child relationship. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
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