Posted by & filed under Abnormal Psychology, Child Development, Depression, Families and Peers, Human Development, Intelligence.

Description: It is fairly well documented that students struggling with depression do not do as well in school when compared to the nondepressed peers. However, consider this question, how well will children do if one of their parents is depressed rather than the child themselves being depressed? Consider the question and then read the article cited below.

Source: Parents Depression May Harm Child’s Grades Study Finds, Dennis Thompson, HealthDay, US New and World Report

Date: February 3, 2016

Depressed parent

Photo Credit: ShutterStock

Links: Article Link —

The research article discussed in the linked article above indicated that children who had a parent was or had been depressed scored significantly lower in their academic studies and the children did not have a depressed parent. All the results were not large they were significant. All the authors do not going to a lot of detail by way of speculation about why this might be it is worth considering the possibilities. Certainly one of things that we do know is that it is more difficult to maintain a positive enriching social relationship when one member of that relationship is struggling with depression. That being the case if the individual struck with depression is the parent in a parent-child relationship you can begin to see some of the ways in which this might affect their child’s development and their child’s performance academically. Certainly the kind of diligence that is now exercised in trying to identify women struggling with postpartum depression so that that does not interfere with the early attachment to their newborn child could potentially be expanded to cover parents of older children as well.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What relationships did the researchers note between parental depression and child academic performance?
  2. What are some of the ways in which parental depression might influence children’s academic performance?
  3. What might some of the implications be for school settings and public goals and guidelines for support and intervention should these results prove to be solid?

References (Read Further):

Shen H, Magnusson C, Rai D, et al. (2016) Associations of Parental Depression With Child School Performance at Age 16 Years in Sweden. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online February 03, 2016.

Rai D, Lee BK, Dalman C, Golding J, Lewis G, Magnusson C. Parental depression, maternal antidepressant use during pregnancy, and risk of autism spectrum disorders: population based case-control study. BMJ 2013;346:f2059.