Stress exposure and stress generation in children of depressed mothers

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1993 Apr;61(2):354-9. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.61.2.354.


Two hypotheses were tested: (a) One mechanism contributing to the high rate of disorder in children of women with affective disorders is elevated exposure to stressful events and conditions and (b) the children of depressed women, particularly women with unipolar depression, contribute to event occurrence because of increased interpersonal conflict. Life stress interview assessments were made at 6-month intervals for 3 years on 53 children of unipolar, bipolar, medically ill, and normal women. Both hypotheses were confirmed. Transactional models of risk and further studies of the interpersonal functioning of children at risk for depression are needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child of Impaired Parents / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Personality Development*
  • Social Environment
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*