Authoritarian parenting and youth depression: Results from a national study

J Prev Interv Community. 2016;44(2):130-9. doi: 10.1080/10852352.2016.1132870.


Depression is a prevalent illness affecting youth across the nation. The study purpose was to examine depression and authoritarian parenting among youth from 12 to 17 years of age. A secondary data analysis of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health was performed in the present study. All participants in the present study were youth (N = 17,399) nationwide. The results revealed that 80.6% of youth participants reported having five or more depressive symptoms. Parenting styles based on depression significantly differed among males, females, 12-13-year-olds, 14-15-year-olds, and 16-17-year-olds. Specifically, those who reported experiencing authoritarian parenting practices were more likely to report depressive symptoms compared to their counterparts who experienced authoritative parenting practices. Emphasizing the role of the parents and teaching positive parenting practices and authoritative parenting styles may increase success of prevention programs.

Keywords: Authoritarian parenting; parenting style; youth depression.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Authoritarianism*
  • Child
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology