Medical Research: What is the background for this study?
Dr. Brent: Youth with a parent with a history of depression are at increased risk for having a depressive episode themselves.
Medical Research: What are the main findings?
Dr. Brent: Those who received a cognitive behavioral educational group program were less likely to have had a depressive episode, and were functioning better than those who did to receive the program 6 years later, especially if their parent was NOT depressed at the time that they received the program. If the parent was depressed then the program was no better than usual care.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
- First, it is possible to prevent depression in youth at risk.
- Second, the impact can be long-lasting with improved functioning into young adulthood.
- Third, treatment of parental depression is an important component to preventing depression in the next generation.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Brent: Family-based interventions that provide services for parents and their chidden are likely to be even more effective and some members of our group are studying such an intervention (Judy Garber, Steve Hollon, Robin Weersing– intervention developed by Bruce Compas).
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Dr. David Brent MD (2015). Parental Depression Is Strong Predictor of Depression in Youth