Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 333-344

First online:

Family Support and Conflict: Prospective Relations to Adolescent Depression

  • Lisa SheeberAffiliated withOregon Research Institute
  • , Hyman HopsAffiliated withOregon Research Institute
  • , Anthony AlpertAffiliated withOregon Research Institute
  • , Betsy DavisAffiliated withOregon Research Institute
  • , Judy AndrewsAffiliated withOregon Research Institute

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The relations between family support, family conflict, and adolescent depressive symptomatology were examined longitudinally in a sample of 231 female and 189 male adolescents and their mothers. Structural equation models revealed that less supportive and more con-flictual family environments were associated with greater depressive symptomatology both concurrently and prospectively over a 1-year period. Conversely, adolescent depressive symptomatology did not predict deterioration in family relationships. Depressive symptomatology and, to a greater extent, family characteristics showed high levels of stability over the 1-year period. Counter to our expectations, the relations between family variables and depressive symptomatology were similar for boys and girls. The results suggest that the quality of family interactions is relevant for understanding the development of depressive symptoms in adolescents.

Depression family support family conflict adolescents