New research conducted by Penn State and Michigan State indicates that the prevalence of adolescent depression and behavior problems is increasing, and paternal depression may be a contributing factor, regardless of genetic relatedness. The study examined data from the Nonshared Environment in Adolescent Development (NEAD) study, which involved 720 families, including those with step-parents. Participants, including mothers, fathers, and children, completed surveys to assess symptoms of depression, behaviors, and parent-child conflict. The findings revealed a significant association between paternal depression symptoms and both adolescent depression and behavior problems, regardless of genetic relatedness. The study suggests that depression and behaviors are transmitted environmentally between fathers and children, with parent-child conflict playing a crucial role. The researchers hope that future investigations will focus on step and blended families to gain further insights into the influence of environmental factors and genetics on family dynamics. The study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the William T. Grant Foundation and was published in the journal Development and Psychopathology.
Source: Science Daily