Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 59–71 | Cite as

Parental Behaviors During Family Interactions Predict Changes in Depression and Anxiety Symptoms During Adolescence

  • Orli S. Schwartz
  • Paul Dudgeon
  • Lisa B. Sheeber
  • Marie B. H. Yap
  • Julian G. Simmons
  • Nicholas B. Allen


This study investigated the prospective, longitudinal relations between parental behaviors observed during parent-adolescent interactions, and the development of depression and anxiety symptoms in a community-based sample of 194 adolescents. Positive and negative parental behaviors were examined, with negative behaviors operationalized to distinguish between observed parental expressions of aggression and dysphoria. Results showed that higher levels of parental aggression prospectively predicted higher levels of both depression and anxiety symptoms in adolescents over two-and-a-half years, whereas higher levels of positive parental behaviors prospectively predicted lower levels of depression symptoms only. Parental dysphoric behavior was not related to changes in either symptom dimension. These results suggest that patterns of parental behaviors may be differentially associated with depressive versus anxious outcomes in adolescents, and highlight the potential role for family-focused prevention or treatment interventions aimed at reducing an escalation of depression and anxiety symptoms in adolescence.


Parenting Adolescence Depression Anxiety Longitudinal 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Orli S. Schwartz
    • 1
    • 3
  • Paul Dudgeon
    • 1
  • Lisa B. Sheeber
    • 2
  • Marie B. H. Yap
    • 3
  • Julian G. Simmons
    • 3
  • Nicholas B. Allen
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychological SciencesUniversity of MelbourneVictoriaAustralia
  2. 2.Oregon Research InstituteEugeneUSA
  3. 3.Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, Centre for Youth Mental HealthUniversity of MelbourneVictoriaAustralia

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