Links between the mother-adolescent and father-adolescent relationships and adolescent depression : a genetically informed study
Links between the parent-adolescent Relationship quality and depression
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Publisher(s)Taylor & Francis
This study examined the unique roles of support and conflict in the relationship with the mother and the father in predicting changes in adolescents’ depressive symptoms over a 1- year period. Potential moderating effects of genetic factors (Gene × Environment interaction) and sex were also investigated. This study utilized a design of twins raised in the same family, based on a sample of 121 monozygotic and 88 dizygotic same-sex twin pairs (418 individuals; 52.2% girls) assessed in Grade 8 (M = 14.09, SD = .29) and in Grade 9 (M = 15.07, SD = .26). Depressive symptoms and the parent–adolescent relationship quality were measured with selfreport questionnaires. Multilevel regressions revealed that a lack of support in the father– adolescent relationship predicted increased depressive symptoms among all adolescents, whereas conflict in the father–adolescent relationship predicted increased depressive symptoms more strongly as adolescents’ genetic vulnerability for depressive symptoms increased. Moreover, a high level of support in the relationship with the mother predicted increased depressive symptoms in boys—but not girls—with a high genetic risk for such problems. In line with a diathesis-stress model of psychopathology, these findings suggest that relationship quality with both parents might impact girls’ and boys’ depressive symptoms but that these associations depend to some extent on adolescents’ genetic vulnerabilities.