University of Oulu

Kia Gluschkoff, Liisa Keltikangas-Järvinen, Laura Pulkki-Råback, Markus Jokela, Jorma Viikari, Olli Raitakari, Mirka Hintsanen, Hostile parenting, parental psychopathology, and depressive symptoms in the offspring: a 32-year follow-up in the Young Finns study, Journal of Affective Disorders, Volume 208, 2017, Pages 436-442, ISSN 0165-0327,

Hostile parenting, parental psychopathology, and depressive symptoms in the offspring : a 32-year follow-up in the Young Finns study

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Author: Gluschkoff, Kia1; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa1; Pulkki-Råback, Laura1,2;
Organizations: 1Institute of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland
2Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland
3Department of Medicine, University of Turku and Division of Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Finland
4Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Turku University Hospital and Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Turku, Finland
5Unit of Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2017
Publish Date: 2020-03-26


Background: Both hostile parenting and parental psychopathology have been shown to predict depression in the offspring. However, whether and how they interact in predicting the longitudinal course of depression from adolescence to adulthood remains unclear.

Methods: Participants were from the prospective Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study, aged 3–18 years at baseline in 1980. We used multilevel modeling for repeated measurements to examine the associations of hostile parenting (i.e., parental intolerance and emotional distance) and parental history of psychopathology with trajectories of depressive symptoms across five study phases from 1992 to 2012.

Results: On average, depressive symptoms decreased in a curvilinear pattern with age. A relatively steep decreasing trend was also observed among offspring of parents with a history of psychopathology but low intolerance. By contrast, among the offspring of parents with a history of psychopathology and high intolerance there was a rising trend in depressive symptoms starting from young adulthood. There was no similar interaction between parental history of psychopathology, emotional distance, and age.

Limitations: Non-standardized, parental self-report scales were used to measure hostile parenting. The observed effects were small, and the depressive symptoms scale applied in the study may not be used for measuring clinical depression.

Conclusions: Parental psychopathology might render individuals sensitive to the unfavorable characteristics of the caregiving environment. Intolerance towards the child can exacerbate the effects of parental psychopathology and have a long-term significance on the developmental trajectory of depressive symptoms over the life-course.

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Series: Journal of affective disorders
ISSN: 0165-0327
ISSN-E: 1573-2517
ISSN-L: 0165-0327
Volume: 208
Pages: 436 - 442
DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.11.002
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 515 Psychology
3124 Neurology and psychiatry
Funding: This study was supported by Academy of Finland (projects 258711 and 265869, LKJ, and project 258578, MH).
Copyright information: © 2016 Elsevier B.V. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license