Life stress and first onset of psychiatric disorders in daughters of depressed mothers

Anda Gershon, Chris Hayward, Pamela Schraedley-Desmond, Karen D. Rudolph, Genery D. Booster, Ian H. Gotlib

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study used a comprehensive, interview-based measure of life stress to assess the role of different types of stress in predicting first onset of psychiatric disorders among daughters of depressed (n = 22) mothers and healthy (n = 22) mothers. Several types of stress were assessed: Chronic interpersonal stress, chronic non-interpersonal stress, episodic dependent (i.e., self-generated) interpersonal stress, episodic dependent non-interpersonal stress, episodic independent interpersonal stress, and episodic independent non-interpersonal stress. Daughters (ages 9-14) were recruited to have no clinically significant symptoms upon entry (T1). By a 30-month follow-up assessment (T2), 45% of the daughters of depressed mothers, but none of the daughters of healthy mothers, had developed a psychiatric disorder. Overall, daughters of depressed mothers were exposed to more severe chronic interpersonal and non-interpersonal stress than were daughters of healthy mothers. Further, daughters of depressed mothers who developed a psychiatric disorder by T2 were exposed to more severe chronic non-interpersonal stress and episodic dependent stress than were daughters of depressed mothers who remained healthy. We discuss the implications of these findings in the context of a stress-generation model for the intergenerational transmission of psychiatric risk among children of depressed mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-862
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Volume45
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • Adolescent psychopathology
  • Longitudinal
  • Maternal depression
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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