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Offspring of parents with recurrent depression: which features of parent depression index risk for offspring psychopathology?

Mars, Becky ORCID:, Collishaw, Stephan ORCID:, Smith, Daniel J., Thapar, Ajay Kumar ORCID:, Potter, Robert, Sellers, Ruth, Harold, Gordon Thomas, Craddock, Nicholas John ORCID:, Rice, Frances ORCID: and Thapar, Anita ORCID: 2012. Offspring of parents with recurrent depression: which features of parent depression index risk for offspring psychopathology? Journal of affective disorders 136 (1-2) , pp. 44-53. 10.1016/j.jad.2011.09.002

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Background Parental depression is associated with an increased risk of psychiatric disorder in offspring, although outcomes vary. At present relatively little is known about how differences in episode timing, severity, and course of recurrent depression relate to risk in children. The aim of this study was to consider the offspring of parents with recurrent depression and examine whether a recent episode of parental depression indexes risk for offspring psychopathology over and above these other parental depression features. Methods Three hundred and thirty seven recurrently depressed parents and their offspring (aged 9–17) were interviewed as part of an ongoing study, the ‘Early Prediction of Adolescent Depression Study’. The Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment was used to assess two child outcomes; presence of a DSM-IV psychiatric disorder and number of DSM-IV child-rated depression symptoms. Results Children whose parents had experienced a recent episode of depression reported significantly more depression symptoms, and odds of child psychiatric disorder were doubled relative to children whose parents had not experienced a recent episode of depression. Past severity of parental depression was also significantly associated with child depression symptoms. Limitations Statistical analyses preclude causal conclusions pertaining to parental depression influences on offspring psychopathology; several features of parental depression were recalled retrospectively. Conclusions This study suggests that particular features of parental depression, specifically past depression severity and presence of a recent episode, may be important indicators of risk for child psychiatric disorder and depressive symptoms.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: depression, parental, child, severity, chronicity, timing
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0165-0327
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 01:39

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