Here is the follow-up to the study I cited in my book 13 yrs. ago. It is now complete. The results were published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, April 2016. There were 263 biological children from 91 families that were categorized high-risk or low-risk by virtue of parental depression. Respected researchers in the field did the study. Here are the results.
- Children of depressed parents had a three-fold increase in major depression or anxiety.
- The high-risk children had a higher risk of a recurrence after age 20.
- Childhood onset of depression was rare. However, high-risk children of depressed parents had a ten-fold risk of having their first episode of depression in childhood.
- There was an increased risk for death by unnatural causes for the high-risk group (5.5% compared with 2.5%).
- High-risk children had a higher risk of divorce, separation, and had fewer children.
- Both high and low-risk children sought treatment for emotional problems. However, high-risk children had worse functioning, period of time in treatment, and more treatment in general throughout their lives.
Source: Myrna M. Weissman, Priya Wickramaratne, et al. Offspring of Depressed Parents: 30 Years Later. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2016. Retrieved online.