Maternal depression and trajectories of adolescent depression: The role of stress responses in youth risk and resilience

Jennifer D. Monti, Karen D. Rudolph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examined the independent and interactive contributions of maternal depression and youth stress responses to trajectories of youth depression in adolescence. Youths (n = 165, M age = 12.43, SD = 1.18) and their maternal caregivers participated in a 4-year longitudinal study. Mothers and youths were administered diagnostic interviews assessing depression, and youths provided reports of their responses to peer stress. Consistent with an interactive model, adaptive responses to stress (high effortful engagement and low involuntary disengagement) buffered the effect of maternal depression on initial levels and trajectories of youth depression, with gender differences emerging. Consistent with a dual-risk model, maternal depression and maladaptive responses to stress (high effortful disengagement and involuntary engagement) contributed additive risks such that youths displayed the highest levels of depression when they were exposed to maternal depression and showed maladaptive stress responses. This research provides novel evidence that responses to stress contribute to individual differences in depression among offspring of depressed mothers, and suggests that responses to stress are an important target for efforts to promote resilience in at-risk youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1413-1429
Number of pages17
JournalDevelopment and Psychopathology
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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