Parental Depression Tied to Offspring Depression in Teen Years

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay.

Exposure to maternal depression during pregnancy and postpartum is strongly associated with greater offspring trajectories of depressive symptoms during adolescence, according to a study published online in BJPsych Open.

Priya Rajyaguru, M.B.B.Ch., from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and colleagues explored the timing of maternal and paternal perinatal depression in relation to patterns of change in offspring depressive mood during a 14-year period. Parental antenatal depression (ANTD) was assessed at 18 weeks of gestation and postnatal depression (PNTD) at eight weeks postpartum, while offspring were evaluated at nine time periods between 10 and 24 years of age. The analysis included 5,029 individuals.

The researchers found that offspring exposed to both timings of maternal depression had higher depressive symptoms across adolescence versus offspring not exposed to ANTD or PNTD. Specifically, higher offspring depressive symptoms at age 16 years and a greater rate of linear change in depressive symptoms were seen. Higher depressive symptoms at age 16 years were also associated with isolated maternal ANTD and to a lesser extent PNTD. Isolated maternal PNTD was associated with an increased rate of linear change in depressive symptoms across adolescence. While effect size was smaller, similar patterns were seen for paternal ANTD and PNTD.

“We found that the accumulation of exposure to both timings of ANTD and PNTD, from mothers and fathers, carried the greatest risk for offspring,” the authors wrote.

Source: HealthDay

Help us reach the next generation of families

Back to Top

[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns, HomeWord seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches. Learn More »

  • Support Our Mission

    HomeWord is non-profit, donor supported ministry. If you would like to partner with HomeWord in our effort to help more parents and families you can make a donation. Your investment will allow us to expand this ministry by offering more resources to families and churches in need.

  • Contact Information

    • HomeWord
      PO Box 1600
      San Juan Capistrano, CA

    • Send us an email

    • 800-397-9725
      (M-F: 8:30am-5pm PST)