Printer Friendly

Growing up with depression.

The children of severely depressed parents appear to be vulnerable not only to recurrent depression but also to a variety of medical problems, according to Yale University investigators. But the role genetic and environmental factors play in their increased risk is not yet clear, says project director Myrna M. Weissman.

Weissman and her colleagues interviewed 56 children of depressed parents and 35 children of healthy parents six years after the parents entered the Yale study. The youngsters, whose mothers were also interviewed, ranged in age from 6 to 23. Compared with the children of healthy parents, the children of depressed parents had over three times the risk of developing severe depression. They also had significantly more colic in the first 10 months of life, head injuries, operations, poor peer relationships and weak or abnormal cries at birth. Their mothers reported more illness and medication use during pregnancy.

Higher rates of severe depression were reported by children about themselves than were reported by mothers about their children, notes Weissman. This suggests that the child might be the best source for detecting early signs of depression, she says.

The highest rates of depression were reported in late adolecence and early adulthood, adds Weissman. The contribution, if any, of increased stress in familities with depressed parents, poor parenting of depressed mothers and heredity to a child's depression remains to be studied.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:medical problems of children of severely depressed patents
Author:Bower, Bruce
Publication:Science News
Date:Jun 1, 1985
Words:228
Previous Article:Emotional scars near Mount St. Helens.
Next Article:Peeling the mask of facial pain.
Topics:


Related Articles
When guilt goes awry.
Helping the depressed person get treatment.
PARENTING : PROFESSIONALS CAN MISS SIGNS OF DEPRESSION IN CHILDREN.
Prescription for trouble: antidepressants might rewire young brains.
Profiles in melancholy, resilience: abused kids react to genetics, adult support.
Etiology of depression in children.
Wrong impression: bipolar kids misinterpret facial cues as hostile.
Legislators jump on predicted surplus.
LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
"Intelligent design," Natural Design, and the problem of meaning in the natural world.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters