Early onset of depression predicts unfavorable psychosocial and health outcomes, and depression often co-occurs for children and their parents, yet family profiles of depression trajectories are not fully examined. This population-based longitudinal prospective cohort study included 2,111 families drawn from the Chinese Family Panel Study (CFPS) with biannual assessments from 2010 to 2018. Group-based multi-trajectory modeling was used to identify depression trajectories of children, fathers, and mothers. Six distinct profiles of depression symptoms were identified. Based upon multi-trajectory findings of family depression profiles, when adolescents are at risk for depression, there is likely at least one parent concurrently at risk for depression, but not vice versa. Families with social disadvantages and children of delayed developmental milestones are at elevated risk for depression. Even when children are at low risk for depression, depression in parents can spill over to impact other psychosocial and health outcomes. These findings suggest examining depression and its associating psychosocial factors could help identify trajectories of varying onset and continuity, which can inform early prevention and intervention from a family system perspective.
Adolescent depression, parental depression, maternal, paternal, trajectory modeling
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