Parental Psychopathology and Youth Coping: Specificity in Predictors of Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms in Youth
Bettis, Alexandra Hall
Research has long documented significant anxiety and depression symptom co-occurrence across the lifespan, which suggests that these symptoms may share a common etiology. Stringent tests of specificity may elucidate those processes that are specific as opposed to transdiagnostic predictors of symptoms of anxiety and depression in youth. The present study aims to test whether parental symptoms of anxiety and depression and youth coping strategies significantly and independently predict whether youths will experience elevated symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. 180 parents with a history of depression and their children ages 9-16 completed measures assessing symptoms (BDI-II, BAI, YSR and CBCL) and coping (RSQ). Parental depressive symptoms, secondary control coping, and primary control coping significantly predicted youth depressive symptoms. Secondary control coping significantly predicted youth anxiety symptoms. Results suggest that there are both transdiagnostic and specific risk factors for symptoms of anxiety and depression in youth.