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Psychopathology in children of parents with recurrent depression


We examined the prevalence of psychopathology in children of parents with recurrent major depression (n=61)and children of normal control parents (n=46).Rates of psychopathology in the children of depressed parents were consistently higher when compared either with the control children or with rates of disorder reported for nonclinically referred children from other studies. Forty-one percent of high-risk children met criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder compared with 15% of low-risk children. Significant differences between groups were found for affective disorders and attention deficit disorder, and a nonsignificant trend was noted for anxiety disorder, all of which were more prevalent in the children of depressed parents.

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This work was supported, in part, by a W. T. Grant Foundation Faculty Scholar Award, No. 8308700.

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Orvaschel, H., Walsh-Allis, G. & Ye, W. Psychopathology in children of parents with recurrent depression. J Abnorm Child Psychol 16, 17–28 (1988).

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  • Normal Control
  • Psychiatric Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Major Depression
  • Affective Disorder