Here’s how depression in parents affects teenagers badly | health and fitness | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Aug 17, 2017-Thursday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Here’s how depression in parents affects teenagers badly

Teenagers with parents who suffer from depression tend to be rebellious and disobedient, says a new study.

health and fitness Updated: May 13, 2016 13:05 IST
The study shows how parental depression influences children’s behaviour making them rebellious and disobedient.
The study shows how parental depression influences children’s behaviour making them rebellious and disobedient.(iStock)

A new study suggests that children of parents who suffer from depression tend to rebellious and disobedient. Mostly seen in teenagers, the study adds that such children get into trouble as they are prone to higher risk-taking and, more importantly, rule-breaking behaviour. According to researchers, parental depression contributes to greater brain activity in areas linked to risk taking in adolescent children, leading to more rule-breaking behaviours.

“This is the first evidence to show that parental depression influences children’s behaviour through the change in the adolescent’s brain,” said lead study author Yang Qu from University Of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Read: 3 books on parenting teenagers every mother and father needs to read

Read: Young and miserable | Children as young as six are battling depression

Read: Social engagement reduces depression in older dementia patients

Read: Beware! Depression is a bigger deal than you’d like to believe

There are a lot of changes happening in the teenage years, especially when we are thinking about risk-taking behaviours, added another researcher Eva Telzer. The study, published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, analysed 23 adolescents aged 15 to 17, with cognitive testing and brain imaging at the beginning and end of the 18-month study.

To measure parental depression, the team collected data from the parents on their own depressive symptoms and who were not currently being treated for clinical depression. They also collected information on the adolescents’ rule-breaking behaviours, such as sneaking out without parental permission, substance abuse and partying.

According to researchers, parental depression contributes to greater brain activity in areas linked to risk taking in adolescent children. (iStock)

The findings indicated that adolescents whose parents had greater depressive symptoms increased their risk-taking over the course of the study. “Even if you are not clinically depressed and seeking out help, your teenager is probably picking up on the negative emotions that you may be experiencing,” Telzer noted.