. "3 The Etiology of Depression." Depression in Parents, Parenting, and Children: Opportunities to Improve Identification, Treatment, and Prevention. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2009.
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Depression in Parents, Parenting, and Children: Opportunities to Improve Identification, Treatment, and Prevention
(Phinney, Ong, and Madden, 2000). Children tend to acculturate and learn new languages faster (Kwak, 2003). This creates conflict in families and may contribute to parental depression or exacerbate difficulties related to parental depression. In reviewing the extensive literature on depressed individuals’ recollections of parents, Gerlsma, Emmelkamp, and Arrindell (1990) and Alloy et al. (2006) concluded that parental child rearing styles that include low affection and more control (overprotection) were most consistently related to depression.
In addition to difficulties in intimate family relationships, depressed people and those at risk for depression report problems with social support. They appear to have problems with the availability—or the perception of availability—of supportive relationships with others, including friends and associates. Perceived support helps to reduce depression and its likelihood of recurrence (Sherbourne, Hays, and Wells, 1995). However, depression is associated with low levels of perceived support (Burton, Stice, and Seeley, 2004; Dalgard et al., 2006; Wade and Kendler, 2000). Research evidence suggests that reduced availability of supportive relations with others may be “real” in terms of actual social isolation due to behaviors and traits that discourage sustained and helpful relations with others, such as introversion and behavioral inhibition (Gladstone and Parker, 2006) or poor social skills (Tse and Bond, 2004). Also, depressive states may result in negative and distorted cognitions about one’s worthiness and perceptions of the unlikelihood of receiving effective help from others. Such perceptions may cause failure to seek help and support even if it does exist.
Space prevents the elaboration of the many candidates for personality traits and habits that might constitute vulnerability to depression, but we mention two factors that have received considerable recent attention: neuroticism and ruminative response style.
The construct of neuroticism has had a long history in psychology. Neuroticism is a higher order personality dimension, defined by negative emotionality and high reactivity to real and perceived stress. Neuroticism is a powerful predictor of depressive episodes, according to a review by Enns and Cox (1997; see also Fanous et al., 2002; Schmitz, Kugler, and Rollnik, 2003). Although the level of neuroticism may decline with reductions in depressive symptoms, recent longitudinal studies have supported the idea that relatively higher levels of neuroticism persist independent of depressive states (e.g., Clark et al., 2003; Kendler, Karkowski, and Prescott, 1999; Kendler and Karkowski-Shuman, 1997; Santor, Babgy, and Joffe, 1997). It is suggested that neuroticism may be one of the genetically transmitted