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Impact of maternal depression on ratings of comorbid depression in adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA.



To assess the degree to which indirect maternal reports of comorbid major depression (MD) in adolescents with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were influenced by the mother's personal history of MD.


Bivariate regression was used to model the impact of maternal depression on the direct and indirect report of MD in ADHD (n = 150) and non-ADHD (n = 123) subjects. The dependent variable (i.e., risk for MD) was modeled as a function of the main effect of ADHD, the main effect of reporter, their interaction, and higher-order interactions with maternal depression.


There was a significant interaction between maternal depression and the effect of reporter exclusively in non-ADHD control subjects. ADHD continued to be a significant risk factor for MD independent of maternal reporting or maternal depression.


The potential distortion of indirect interviews by depressed mothers may be stronger in community than in clinical settings and does not account for the increased risk for MD in referred adolescents with ADHD.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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