Oldehinkel AJ, Ormel J, Veenstra R, De Winter AF, Verhulst FC › Trails

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Parental divorce and offspring depressive symptoms: Dutch developmental trends during early adolescence

Authors: Oldehinkel AJ, Ormel J, Veenstra R, De Winter AF, Verhulst FC

In this study, we investigated if the association between parental divorce and depressive symptoms changes during early adolescence and if developmental patterns are similar for boys and girls. Data were collected in a prospective population cohort of Dutch adolescents (N = 2149), aged 10 - 15 years. Outcome variables were self-reported and parent-reported depressive symptoms. The effects of divorce were adjusted for parental depression. In both self-reported and parent-reported data, we found a three-way interaction of gender, age, and parental divorce, indicating that with increasing age, parental divorce became more strongly associated with depressive symptoms among girls, but not boys. These results suggest that girls with divorced parents are at particularly high risk to develop depressive symptoms during adolescence.

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