Parental Depression and Parenting Skills in the Context of a Preventive Intervention
In a randomized clinical trial with families of parents with a history of major depressive disorder, changes in parenting and parental depressive symptoms were examined in relation to the effects of a family group cognitive behavioral preventive intervention (n = 111 families). Changes in parenting were assessed at 6-months and changes in parental depressive symptoms were assessed at 2- and 12-months. Significant differences favoring the family intervention as compared with a written information condition were found for changes in direct observation measures of parenting and questionnaire measures of parents' depressive symptoms. Changes in observed positive parenting at 6-months predicted changes in parents' depressive symptoms at 12-month follow-up. Changes in parents' depressive symptoms at 2-months did not predict changes in parenting on any of the measures at 6-months. Implications for teaching parenting skills to depressed parents in the context of an intervention are highlighted.