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Date April 22 2001 Contact Pam Willenz Public Affairs Office 202 336-5707 pwillenzapaorg NEW STUDIES EXAMINE INFLUENCES ON ADOLESCENT DEPRESSION MOTHERS DEPRESSION AND SMOKING CAN WORSEN SYMPTOMS AND IMPAIR SOCIAL FUNCTIONING Washington - Two factors relatively common in adolescence smoking cigarettes and having a mother who suffers from depression both increase the adolescents own susceptibility to depression according to two new studies in this months Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology published by the American Psychological Association APA In the first study 110 15 year olds who experience current or past depression and who have a depressed mother 65 - 24 male 41 female or a non-depressed mother 45 - 9 male 36 female were compared on their depressive symptoms social functioning and how they viewed their interpersonal relationships Fifteen-year old children and their mothers were selected from a population of mothers who had been studied since they were pregnant including several times after the birth of the child The study sample included women who had been depressed one or more times during the childs life or had never been depressed At age 15 those adolescents who had been raised by a mother who suffered from depression since giving birth were more likely to have fewer friends and be less involved in social activities than their depressed peers whose mother did not suffer from depression said lead author Constance Hammen PhD of the University of California in Los Angeles and co-author Patricia A Brennan PhD of Emory University The main difference we found said the authors is that the adolescents with depressed mothers had more interpersonal difficulties probably because of the influence of their mothers depression and her own problems with social functioning The differences were specific to interpersonal functioning and did not include academic performance Those depressed adolescents with depressed mothers were also more likely to have negative views of their social lives and attitudes according to
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