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J Affect Disord. 2015 Dec 1;188:68-79. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2015.08.017. Epub 2015 Sep 2.

Family dissolution and offspring depression and depressive symptoms: A systematic review of moderation effects.

Author information

1
Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. Electronic address: lmdi@deakin.edu.au.
2
Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia; Murdoch Children's Research Institute, The Royal Children's Hospital, Australia.
3
Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Parental separation is associated with increased risk for offspring depression; however, depression outcomes are divergent. Knowledge of moderators could assist in understanding idiosyncratic outcomes and developing appropriately targeted prevention programs for those at heightened risk of depression following parental separation. Therefore, the objective of the review was to identify and evaluate studies that examined moderators of the relationship between parental separation and offspring depression

METHODS:

A search of scientific, medical and psychological databases was conducted in April 2015 for longitudinal research that had evaluated any moderator/s of the relationship between parental separation or divorce and offspring depression or depressive symptoms. Papers were assessed for quality by evaluating the study's sample, attrition rates, methodology and measurement characteristics.

RESULTS:

Fourteen quantitative studies from five countries assessed sixteen moderating factors of the relationship between parental separation and offspring depression or depressive symptoms. A number of factors were found to moderate this relationship, including offspring gender, age (at assessment and at depression onset), genotype, preadolescent temperament, IQ, emotional problems in childhood and maternal sensitivity.

LIMITATIONS:

While robust longitudinal research was selected for inclusion, common issues with longitudinal studies such as low rates of participation and attrition were among the methodological concerns evident in some of the reviewed papers.

CONCLUSIONS:

The current review is the first to assess interaction effects of the relationship between parental separation and offspring depression or depressive symptoms. While further research is recommended, this assessment is critical in understanding variation in heterogeneous populations and can inform targeted policy and prevention.

PMID:
26342891
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2015.08.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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