Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Functioning status of adult children of depressed parents: a 23-year follow-up.

Timko C, Cronkite RC, Swindle R, Robinson RL, Turrubiartes P, Moos RH. Functioning status of adult children of depressed parents: a 23-year follow-up. Psychological medicine. 2008 Mar 1; 38(3):343-52.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions



Abstract:

BACKGROUND: We compared adult offspring of depressed or control parents who were followed for 23 years. Comparisons were on depression symptoms, physical functioning and disability, social functioning, and utilization of help and coping. Also examined was whether the parent's course of depression (stably remitted, partially remitted, non-remitted) was associated with offspring functioning. METHOD: Depressed parents successfully followed at 23 years (n = 248, 82%) identified 215 adult offspring; 67% returned questionnaires. Matched control parents successfully followed (n = 235, 79%) identified 261 adult offspring; 68% completed questionnaires. RESULTS: Adult offspring of depressed parents were more impaired than adult offspring of controls (with gender and education controlled) in the domains of depression and disability, and obtained more help for mental health problems. They also reported more severe recent stressors and relied more on active cognitive coping and seeking alternative rewards to cope. Adult offspring of depressed and control parents were comparable in a number of domains: psychiatric and behavioral problems other than depression, physical functioning and pain, social functioning, and hospitalizations and medication use for depression. Adult offspring of parents with a non-remitted course of depression were the most likely to show impaired functioning compared with controls. CONCLUSIONS: Having a parent with depression is associated with more depression and disability in adulthood, but does not have debilitating effects in other life domains. Nonetheless, it may be important for offspring of depressed parents, particularly offspring of parents with a non-remitting depression course, to recognize their elevated risk of depression and potential need for help.





Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.