, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 488-496
Date: 22 Jun 2013

An Exploration of Family Problem-Solving and Affective Involvement as Moderators Between Disease Severity and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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Abstract

Little is known about how family functioning relates to psychosocial functioning of youth with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The study aim was to examine family problem solving and affective involvement as moderators between adolescent disease severity and depressive symptoms. Participants were 122 adolescents with IBD and their parents. Measures included self-reported and parent-reported adolescent depressive symptoms, parent-reported family functioning, and physician-completed measures of disease severity. Disease severity was a significant predictor of adolescent-reported depressive symptoms, but not parent-reported adolescent depressive symptoms. Family affective involvement significantly predicted parent-reported adolescent depressive symptoms, while family problem-solving significantly predicted adolescent self-report of depressive symptoms. Neither affective involvement nor problem-solving served as moderators. Family affective involvement may play an important role in adolescent emotional functioning but may not moderate the effect of disease severity on depressive symptoms. Research should continue to examine effects of family functioning on youth emotional functioning and include a sample with a wider range of disease severity to determine if interventions aimed to enhance family functioning are warranted.