The relationship between parental depression and children's depression in a Latino sample

Melissa Laracuenta, Pace University


Many factors have been found to contribute to the development of depression in children. A well-documented relationship is the association of maternal depression with childhood depression. Unfortunately, less is known about the role played by paternal depression in developmental psychopathology. Even less is known of the influence culture has in accentuating or mitigating the relationship of parental depression to depression in offspring. Questions one might have are whether parental depression, including both maternal and paternal depression, is related to childhood depression, what the mechanisms underlying this process are, and if this process occurs in Latino families in a similar pattern as in other families. The present study aimed to contribute to our understanding of the relationships between parental depression and childhood depressive symptoms in a sample of Puerto Rican families. Archival data from an ongoing longitudinal National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) funded study examining parent-child communication were used. Results found significant relationships between parental depressive/anxiety symptoms and children's depressive/anxiety symptoms, parental acculturation levels and parenting behaviors. These data have important implications for work with Puerto Rican families in terms of supporting the treatment of an identified patient as part of a larger complex network of family relationships that influence one another.

Subject Area

Psychotherapy|Hispanic Americans

Recommended Citation

Laracuenta, Melissa, "The relationship between parental depression and children's depression in a Latino sample" (2006). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3222078.



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