Family support and conflict: prospective relations to adolescent depression

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 1997 Aug;25(4):333-44. doi: 10.1023/a:1025768504415.


The relations between family support, family conflict, and adolescent depressive symptomatology were examined longitudinally in a sample of 231 female and 189 male adolescents and their mothers. Structural equation models revealed that less supportive and more conflictual family environments were associated with greater depressive symptomatology both concurrently and prospectively over a 1-year period. Conversely, adolescent depressive symptomatology did not predict deterioration in family relationships. Depressive symptomatology and, to a greater extent, family characteristics showed high levels of stability over the 1-year period. Counter to our expectations, the relations between family variable and depressive symptomatology were similar for boys and girls. The results suggest that the quality of family interactions is relevant for understanding the development of depressive symptoms in adolescents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Conflict, Psychological*
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Support