The Role of Depressogenic Personality and Attachment in the Intergenerational Similarity of Depressive Symptoms: A Study With Early Adolescents and Their Mothers
Brenning, Katrijn × Soenens, Bart Braet, Caroline Bosmans, Guy #
Sage publications inc
Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin vol:37 issue:2 pages:284-297
Parental depression has been identified as a risk factor for psychopathology in children, and for child depression in particular. Increasingly, research is addressing the underlying psychological processes that may explain the intergenerational similarity of depressive symptoms. In the present study, we aim to investigate the role of two theoretically relevant vulnerability factors in this intergenerational similarity, that is, (a) dimensions of depressogenic personality (i.e., sociotropy and autonomy) and (b) dimensions of attachment (i.e., anxiety and avoidance). Results in a sample of early adolescents and their mothers show significant intergenerational similarity in both sets of vulnerabilities. Moreover, the intergenerational similarity of both vulnerability factors was found to account for the association between mothers' and children's depressive symptoms. Within each generation there were also meaningful and specific associations between dimensions of depressogenic personality and dimensions of attachment, with sociotropy being primarily related to anxiety and with autonomy being primarily related to avoidance.