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Emotion. 2012 Oct;12(5):913-8. doi: 10.1037/a0025784. Epub 2011 Oct 24.

Depression is associated with the escalation of adolescents' dysphoric behavior during interactions with parents.

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Oregon Research Institute, Eugene, OR 97403, USA.


Though much is known about the stable mood patterns that characterize depressive disorder, less attention has been directed to identifying and understanding the temporal dynamics of emotions. In the present study, we examined how depression affects the trajectory of dysphoric and angry adolescent emotional behavior during adolescent-parent interactions. Adolescents (72 depressed; 69 nondepressed) engaged in video recorded positive and negative interactions with their parents. Depressed adolescents showed a linear increase in dysphoric behaviors throughout the negative interactions, while the incidence of these behaviors remained relatively stable across the interactions among nondepressed adolescents. A similar linear increase was not found in angry behavior. These findings show that depression in adolescence is associated with greater escalation of dysphoria during conflictual interactions between adolescents and their parents.

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