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The relationship between maternal depression, adolescent depression, and engagement in health-risk behaviours Open Access


Other title
maternal depression
health-risk behaviour
adolescent depression
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Wickham, Maeve E.
Supervisor and department
Colman, Ian (School of Public Health)
Wild, Thomas Cameron (School of Public Health)
Examining committee member and department
Hoglund, Wendy (Psychology)
Senthilselvan, Ambikaipakan (School of Public Health)
School of Public Health Sciences
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Maternal depression is a known risk factor for offspring psychopathology; however, the role of maternal depressive symptoms in the adolescent engagement in health-risk behaviours (e.g., substance use and delinquency) needs further study. Using data from 2910 youth in the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY), a nationally representative prospective cohort, the relationship between maternal depressive symptoms and engagement in a variety of health-risk behaviours at age 16-17, as well as time of onset of engagement, was examined. Latent class analysis was used to model trajectories of maternal depressive symptoms from age 4-15, and exploratory factor analysis was used to examine clusters of health-risk behaviours; five trajectories of maternal depressive symptoms during childhood were modeled, and five factors of behaviours were found. Findings indicate that adolescents exposed to high maternal depressive symptoms in mid-childhood engaged in more health-risk behaviours, earlier, than adolescents not exposed to maternal depressive symptoms.
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