Does Major Depressive Disorder In Parents Predict Specific Fears And Phobias In Offspring?

1076 words - 4 pages


I chose to analyze this research article which tries to answer if major depressive disorders in parents lead to specific fears and phobias in offspring, because I like psychology and I wanted an article that was related some way to this interest.
Before this research two studies were conducted that reported an increased risk of phobias in offspring of parents with major depressive disorder (MDD) when compared to children of normal parents. These findings suggested a connection between phobias and depression. But more research was needed because it was unknown the contribution of the existence of varies anxiety disorders in parents to such relationship. Another study (this time adolescents) found the certain fears, no phobias, predicted later risk to develop MDD. The authors stated that little was known about the factors that lead to the development of fears and phobias in children and adolescents and that was unknown if associations between parent MDD and child anxiety show the mixing influence of parent anxiety disorder.
The hypothesis for this study was that fears and phobias were more prevalent in offspring of parents with MDD as well as parents with anxiety disorders, and in parents with both disorders as compared with children of normal (control) parents. The research question was the title of this article: Does major depressive disorder in parents predict specific fears and phobias in offspring?
Participants and Procedure
Participants came from a high-risk study of offspring of parents with anxiety and/or mood disorders and non- ill parents. Ill parents were admitted to mood disorders clinics in the New York area after the study. The children were between 6 and 17 years, in total 318, and they came from four different groups:
a. 75 had one or both parents which had lifetime major depression disorder, and neither had anxiety disorder. Of those 75, 62 had one parent with MDD (most of them were mothers, 51 of the 62) and 13 had both parents with MDD.
b. 75 had parents with anxiety disorder. Of those 75, 67 had one or both parents with lifetime panic disorder, 12 with social phobia, 6 with and/ or obsessive-compulsive disorder, and neither had MDD. Of the 75 children, 72 had one parent with anxiety disorder (most of them mothers, 55) and 3 had both parents with anxiety disorder.
c. 88 had parents with MDD and anxiety disorder: one or both parents had lifetime MDD and one or both parents had lifetime anxiety disorder. Of 88 children, 71 had one parent with MDD+ anxiety disorder (51 were mothers) and 12 had one parent with MDD and the other with lifetime anxiety disorder.
d. Controls (non-ill parents): neither parents had a history of MDD or anxiety disorder.
Sample Characteristics
They were no significant differences among offspring of parents of the four groups in gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, but age differed.
It was mentioned that children of parents that ever had a psychotic disorder were not...

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