Background - Depressive symptoms can be triggered by negative social experiences and individuals’ processing of these experiences. This study focuses on the interaction between temperament, perceived parenting, and gender in relation to depressive problems in a Dutch population sample of preadolescents. Methods - The sample consisted of 2230 ten-to-twelve-year-olds from the North of the Netherlands. Perceived parenting (overprotection, rejection, emotional warmth) was assessed by the EMBU (a Swedish acronym for My Memories of Upbringing) for Children, temperament (fearfulness and frustration) by the parent version of the Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire-Revised, and depressive problems by the Child Behavior Checklist (parent report) and the Youth Self-Report (child report). Results - All parenting and temperament factors were significantly associated with depressive problems. Frustration increased the depressogenic effect of parental overprotection and lack of emotional warmth. Fearfulness increased the effect of rejection in girls, but not in boys. Furthermore, the association between frustration and depression was stronger in boys. Conclusions - These findings support the hypothesis that the effect of specific parenting behaviors depends on the temperament and gender of the child.
Due to the high prevalence of anxiety and depression it is often asked whether we are dealing with separate anxiety and depression disorders. This research found that anxiety and depression symptoms usually go together in the group of TRAILS-youth. Furthermore, we found that adolescents with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts may form a group with a more severe prognosis than the group of adolescents who are anxious and depressive but who do not yet think about death. This is important for prevention.