Harmony at home key to beating depression

Herald Sun 26 Nov 2011
Teenagers face a greater risk of developing depression if their parents bicker and show little affection or support for them. Studies by Melbourne University researchers have found that when it comes to predictors for clinical depression, families are as important as genetics and other factors. Professor of psychological sciences Nick Allen says children who are frequently criticised by their parents and who receive little affection are at significantly higher risk of teenage depression.

“It’s very characteristic of kids who are depressed, and it also predicts kids who are going to get depressed,” Prof Allen said. “The thing that’s most important is the relationship between the parent and the child, particularly the level of criticism and undermining.” An estimated one teenager in five experiences a serious depressive episode by their 18th birthday. Those who suffer clinical depression in their teens are likely to continue to struggle with the condition as adults.
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