The Role of Family Routines in the Intergenerational Transmission of Depressive Symptoms between Parents and their Adolescent Children

Erika M. Manczak*, Deanna Williams, Edith Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Whereas previous research on environmental factors implicated in the intergenerational transmission of depression has tended to focus on the role of parenting quality (e.g., harshness), the current study sought to assess whether structural aspects of families may contribute to depression-relevant affective and immune processes in youths. Specifically, the present study examined the role of family routines in linking parental depressive symptoms to youth emotion regulation, a depression-relevant marker of low-grade inflammation, and depressive symptoms in youths. 261 parent-adolescent dyads reported on their own depressive symptoms, family routines, and youths’ emotion regulation abilities. In addition, peripheral blood was drawn from youths to assess levels of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin 6 (IL-6). Path analyses provided support for a model in which parental depressive symptoms related to fewer family routines, which in turn were associated with higher IL-6 and depressive symptoms in youths as well as marginally associated with worse youth emotion regulation. Moreover, family routines were found to statistically account for part of the association between parent- and youth- depressive symptoms. Together, these results suggest that family routines may represent an additional facet of the family environment that can potentially contribute to the intergenerational transmission of depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-656
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2017

Keywords

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Emotion regulation
  • Family routines
  • Inflammation
  • Intergenerational transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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