The timing of parent and child depression: A hopelessness theory perspective

John R.Z. Abela, Steven A. Skitch, Philippe Adams, Benjamin L. Hankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined whether children's inferential styles moderate the association between the onset of depressive symptoms in children and their parents. To provide a powerful test of our hypotheses, we utilized a high-risk sample (parents with a history of major depressive episodes and their children) and a multiwave longitudinal design. During the initial assessment, 140 children (ages 6 to 14) completed measures assessing depressogenic inferential styles. Parents and children also completed measures assessing current level of depressive symptoms. Following the initial assessment, children and parents were contacted every 6 weeks for the next year to complete measures assessing depressive symptoms. The results of hierarchical linear modeling analyses indicated that children who exhibited depressogenic inferential styles reported greater elevations in depressive symptoms following elevations in their parent's level of depressive symptoms than did children who did not exhibit such styles. The strength of this association was greater in girls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-263
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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