Risk of psychopathology in adolescent offspring of mothers with psychopathology and recurrent depression

Sellers, R. et al. (2013) Risk of psychopathology in adolescent offspring of mothers with psychopathology and recurrent depression. British Journal of Psychiatry, 202(2), pp. 108-114. (doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.111.104984)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


Background: Offspring of mothers with depression are at heightened risk of psychiatric disorder. Many mothers with depression have comorbid psychopathology. How these co-occurring problems affect child outcomes has rarely been considered.

Aims: To consider whether the overall burden of co-occurring psychopathology in mothers with recurrent depression predicts new-onset psychopathology in offspring.

Methods: Mothers with recurrent depression and their adolescent offspring (9-17) years at baseline) were assessed in 2007 and on two further occasions up to 2010. Mothers completed questionnaires assessing depression severity, anxiety, alcohol problems and antisocial behaviour. Psychiatric disorder in offspring was assessed using the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment.

Results: The number of co-occurring problems in mothers (0, 1, or 2+) predicted new-onset offspring disorder (OR=1.80, 95% CI 1.17, 2.77, p=.007; rates varied from 15.7% to 34.8% depending on number of co-occurring clinical problems) and after controlling for maternal depression severity (OR=1.73, 95% CI 1.03, 2.89, p=.040).

Conclusion: The burden of co-occurring psychopathology amongst mothers with recurrent depression indexes increased risk of future onset of psychiatric disorder for offspring. This knowledge can be used in targeting preventative measures in children at high risk of psychiatric disorder.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Professor Daniel
Authors: Sellers, R., Collishaw, S., Rice, F., Thapar, A.K., Potter, R., Mars, B., Harold, G.T., Smith, D.J., Owen, M.J., Craddock, N., and Thapar, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:British Journal of Psychiatry
Publisher:Royal College of Psychiatrists
ISSN (Online):1472-1465
Published Online:11 October 2012

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record