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Cogn Emot. 2016;30(2):302-14. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2014.998631. Epub 2015 Feb 3.

Influence of maternal depression on children's brooding rumination: Moderation by CRHR1 TAT haplotype.

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a Department of Psychology , Binghamton University (SUNY) , Binghamton , NY , USA.
b Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center , Providence , RI , USA.
c Division of Behavioral Genetics , Rhode Island Hospital , Providence , RI , USA.
d Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior , Brown University , Providence , RI , USA.


There is growing evidence that brooding rumination plays a key role in the intergenerational transmission of major depressive disorder (MDD) and may be an endophenotype for depression risk. However, less is known about the mechanisms underlying this role. Therefore, the goal of the current study was to examine levels of brooding in children of mothers with a history of MDD (n = 129) compared to children of never depressed mothers (n = 126) and to determine whether the variation in a gene known to influence hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning--corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1 (CRHR1)--would moderate the link between maternal MDD and children's levels of brooding. We predicted children of mothers with a history of MDD would exhibit higher levels of brooding than children of mothers with no lifetime depression history but that this link would be stronger among children carrying no copies of the protective CRHR1 TAT haplotype. Our results supported these hypotheses and suggest that the development of brooding among children of depressed mothers, particularly children without the protective CRHR1 haplotype, may serve as an important mechanism of risk for the intergenerational transmission of depression.


Brooding rumination; CRHR1; Cognitive vulnerability; Endophenotype; Intergenerational transmission of depression; Major depressive disorder

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