Parental Symptoms of Anhedonia, Parenting, and Youth Outcomes: A Multi-Method, Multi-Informant Investigation

Julianne M. Griffith, Jami F. Young, Benjamin L. Hankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parental depression is a well-established risk factor for youth psychopathology; however, depression is highly heterogeneous, and different parental symptom profiles may be differentially associated with risk mechanisms and youth psychopathology outcomes. Thus, this study examined associations between parental anhedonic symptoms of depression, specifically, and (1) parenting and (2) youth outcomes using a multi-method, multi-informant approach. Participants included 595 parents (89% mothers) and youth (ages 8–16; M[SD] = 12.07[2.39]). Regression analyses indicated that parental self-reported anhedonic symptoms at baseline demonstrated relatively specific prospective associations with chronic parent–child stress assessed using contextual stress interview methods, as well as youth self-reported depressive symptoms at 18-month follow-up. Findings also indicated concurrent associations between parental anhedonic symptoms and observed parental criticism, conflict, and responsiveness in the context of a 5-min discussion task, as well as parent self-reported monitoring/supervision, although results were no longer significant after controlling for parental co-occurring non-anhedonic depressive symptoms. Findings suggest that parental anhedonic symptoms may contribute to relatively unique reductions in the quality of the parent–child relationship and may be a particularly salient risk factor for youth depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-427
Number of pages15
JournalResearch on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • Anhedonia
  • Intergenerational risk
  • Parental depression
  • Parenting
  • Youth chronic stress
  • Youth depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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