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Title: Familial transmission of depression and antisocial behavior symptoms: disentangling the contribution of inherited and environmental factors and testing the mediating role of parenting.
Authors: Harold, GT
Rice, F
Hay, DF
Boivin, J
van den Bree M
Thapar, A
First Published: 22-Sep-2010
Citation: PSYCHOL MED, 2010, pp. 1-11
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Genetic and environmental influences on child psychopathology have been studied extensively through twin and adoption designs. We offer a novel methodology to examine genetic and environmental influences on the intergenerational transmission of psychopathology using a sample of parents and children conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF).MethodThe sample included families with children born through IVF methods, who varied as to whether the child was genetically related or unrelated to the rearing mother and father (mother genetically related, n=434; mother genetically unrelated, n=127; father genetically related, n=403; father genetically unrelated, n=156). Using standardized questionnaires, mothers and fathers respectively reported on their own psychopathology (depression, aggression), their parenting behavior toward their child (warmth, hostility) and their child's psychopathology (depression, aggression). A cross-rater approach was used, where opposite parents reported on child symptoms (i.e. fathers reported on symptoms for the mother-child dyad, and vice versa). RESULTS: For mother-child dyads, a direct association between mother depression and child depression was observed among genetically unrelated dyads, whereas a fully mediated path was observed among genetically related dyads through mother-to-child hostility and warmth. For father-child dyads, direct and mediated pathways were observed for genetically related father-child dyads. For aggression, the direct association between parent aggression and child aggression was fully mediated by parent-to-child hostility for both groups, indicating the role of parent-to-child hostility as a risk mechanism for transmission. CONCLUSIONS: A differential pattern of genetic and environmental mediation underlying the intergenerational transmission of psychopathology was observed among genetically related and genetically unrelated father-child and mother-child dyads.
DOI Link: 10.1017/S0033291710001753
eISSN: 1469-8978
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Psychology

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