Parent-Offspring Transmission of Internalizing and Sensory over-Responsivity Symptoms in Adolescence
Reactions to sensory experiences are an overlooked correlate of affective regulation, despite the importance of bodily states on psychological processes. Children who display sensory over-responsivity (i.e., adverse reactions to typical sensations) are at greater risk for developing affective disorders. We extended this literature to adolescents and their middle-aged parents. Participants in a birth record-based study of families of adolescent twins (N = 506 families; 1012 adolescents; 53% female) completed a subset of items from the Adult Sensory Profile. We derived adolescent self-reported internalizing disorder symptoms and parent affective diagnoses from structured diagnostic interviews. Structural equation models tested the relationship between parent sensory over-responsivity symptoms and affective diagnoses and their adolescent offspring’s sensory over-responsivity and internalizing symptoms. Adolescent sensory over-responsivity symptoms were correlated with internalizing disorder symptoms. Parents with a diagnosis of anxiety or depression (mothers only) reported more frequent SOR symptoms than parents without a diagnosis. Parent depression was significantly related to adolescent sensory over-responsivity symptoms, over and above parent sensory over-responsivity symptoms (β = 0.26, p < 0.001 for mothers; β = 0.13, p = 0.004 for fathers). Father alcohol abuse/dependency also predicted offspring sensory over-responsivity symptoms. Offspring of parents with affective disorders were at additional risk for sensory dysregulation via parents’ influence on offspring internalizing problems.
KeywordsAdolescent Parents Anxiety Sensory over-responsivity
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Chang, Y.-S., Owen, J. P., Desai, S. S., Hill, S. S., Arnett, A. B., Harris, J., et al. (2014). Autism and sensory processing disorders: Shared white matter disruption in sensory pathways but divergent connectivity in social-emotional pathways. PloS One, 9(7), e103038. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103038.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Craig, A. D. (2008). Interoception and emotion: A neuroanatomical perspective. Handbook of Emotions, 3, 272–288.Google Scholar
- Dunn, W. (1999). The sensory profile manual. San Antonio: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
- Dunn, W., & Bennett, D. (2002). Patterns of sensory processing in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The Occupational Therapy Journal of Research, 22, 4–15.Google Scholar
- Essex, M. J., Boyce, W. T., & Goldstein, L. H. (2002). The confluence of mental, physical, social, and academic difficulties in middle childhood. II: Developing the MacArthur Health and Behavior Questionnaire. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 41(5), 588–603. doi: 10.1097/00004583-200205000-00017.
- Fisher, P., Shaffer, D., Piacentini, J. C., Lapkin, J., & Kafantaris, V. (1997). Diagnostic interview schedule for children, Version IV: test-retest reliability in a clinical sample. Paper presented at the Meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Toronto, ON, Canada.Google Scholar
- Goldsmith, H. H., Van Hulle, C. A., Arneson, C. L., Schreiber, J. E., & Gernsbacher, M. A. (2006). A population-based twin study of parentally reported tactile and auditory defensiveness in young children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 34, 378–392. doi: 10.1007/s10802-006-9024-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Green, S. A., Ben-Sasson, A., Soto, T. W., & Carter, A. S. (2012). Anxiety and sensory over-responsivity in toddlers with Autism Spectrum disorders: Bidirectional effects across time. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 1112–1119. doi: 10.1007/s10803-011-1361-3.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Lane, S. J., Reynolds, S., & Thacker, L. (2010). Sensory over-responsivity and ADHD: Differentiating using electrodermal responses, cortisol, and anxiety. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 4. doi: 10.3389/fnint.2010.00008.
- Leinonen, J. A., Solantaus, T. S., & Punamaki, R.-L. (2003). Parental mental health and children’s adjustment: The quality of marital interaction and parenting as mediating factors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 44, 227–241. doi: 10.1111/1469-7610.t01-1-00116.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Lewis, G., Rice, F., Harold, G. T., Collishaw, S., & Thapar, A. (2011). Investigating environmental links between parent depression and child depressive/anxiety symptoms using an assisted conception design. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 50, 451–459 e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2011.01.015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Mangeot, S. D., Miller, L. J., McIntosh, D. N., McGrath-Clarke, J., Simon, J., Hagerman, R. J., & Goldson, E. (2007). Sensory modulation dysfunction in children with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 43, 399–406. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2001.tb00228.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Muthén, L. K. & Muthén, B. O. (1998-2015). Mplus User’s Guide. Seventh Edition. Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
- Rich-Edwards, J. W., Kleinman, K., Abrams, A., Harlow, B., McLaughlin, T. J., Joffe, H., & Gillman, M. (2006). Sociodemographic predictors of antenatal and postpartum depressive symptoms among women in a medical group practice. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 60, 221–227. doi: 10.1136/jech.2005.039370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Robins, L. N., Wing, J., Wittchen, H.-U., Helzer, J. E., Babor, T. F., Burke, J., et al. (1989). The Composite international diagnostic interview: An epidemiologic instrument suitable for use in conjunction with different diagnostic systems and in different cultures. Archives of General Psychiatry, 45, 1069–1077.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Román-Oyola, R., & Reynolds, S. (2013). Prevalence of sensory modulation disorder among Puerto Rican preschoolers: An analysis focused on socioeconomic status variables: Sensory modulation, PR preschoolers and SES. Occupational Therapy International, 20, 144–154. doi: 10.1002/oti.1353.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Schmidt, N. L., Van Hulle, C. A., Brooker, R. J., Meyer, L. R., Lemery-Chalfant, K., & Goldsmith, H. H. (2012). Wisconsin twin research: Early development, childhood psychopathology, Autism, and sensory over-responsivity. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 16, 376–384. doi: 10.1017/thg.2012.105.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Seeley, W. W., Menon, V., Schatzberg, A. F., Keller, J., Glover, G. H., Kenna, H., et al. (2007). Dissociable intrinsic connectivity networks for salience processing and executive control. Journal of Neuroscience, 27, 2349–2356. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5587-06.2007.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar