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Parent-child relationships and adult depression

Parent-child relationships and adult depression

Child Development 52(3): 950-957

Reports of early parental behavior provided by 714 hospitalized depressed patients were compared with those provided by 387 normal adults. The 2 groups were also compared on ratings of parental behavior along the acceptance-rejection and autonomy-control dimensions, based on reports of other informants. Differences between the groups suggest that depression in adult life may be related to parental rejection and control through techniques such as derision, negative evaluation, and withdrawal of affection during childhood. Maternal rejection was found more closely associated with depression in female than in male children, and the effect was essentially the same among black and white subjects. Paternal rejection, on the other hand, appeared more closely associated with depression in males than females among blacks, while among whites paternal rejection was related to depression in females rather than males. It is suggested that the thoughts of personal worthlessness and inferiority seen in depression and theorized by Beck to be of principal etiologic significance in the disorder may have their origin in the early parent-child relationships.

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Accession: 043881674

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 7285663

DOI: 10.2307/1129099

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