Depression Can Pass From Parents To Kids

Parents who are depressed are more likely to pass on their depression to their children’s – says a new study from John Hopkins Children’s Center. The good news is that talking to a therapist or taking up cognitive behavioral therapy can prevent parents from passing on their depression to their kids.

Researchers from John Hopkins Children’s Center analyzed 40 children of ages 7 to 12, whose parents were having anxiety disorders. Half of these children and their parents were given a course of cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy given to them was a 8-week long course, in which each session lasted for one hour.

In the course, parents were taught how to recognize and correct behavior which can make kids anxious. They were taught to recognize negative behavior such as worrying aloud or being overprotective. The kids were also taught skills to cope with their parents.

After a year of taking this study, the researchers studied the two groups. Among the group in which kids and parents received cognitive behavioral therapy, none of the children developed an anxiety disorder. However, among the group which did not receive therapy, about 30% of the kids were found to be with anxiety disorder.

The lead author of the study, Golda Ginsburg, feels that although not many insurers pay for cognitive behavioral therapy, investing in it can be worthwhile to prevent behavioral problems in kids.

Why do depressed parents pass on their traits to their kids? It is possible that parents may be unable to provide encouragement and support to their kids. Hence, taking up therapy can help parents to overcome depression and prevent risky behavior among kids.

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