ERIC Number: ED328864
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jun
Family Relationships and Childhood Depression: A Review of the Literature.
Geis, Robyn Lisa Bettenhausen
Researchers have postulated that depression is the result of a number of factors. Theories include genetic, biological, psychoanalytic, behavioral, cognitive, and/or social stress factors as possible causes. Although all of these factors may be involved, the family is the setting in which the risk factors are actualized. Family factors have long been studied as relevant to the development of depression. A research review was conducted to examine the effect of family structures or relationships on the development of depression in children. The review, which focused on family characteristics that have been found to be empirically and theoretically related to the development of depression, found that multiple family factors may lead to the development of childhood depression. Depression has been demonstrated to be correlated with several family characteristics, suggesting that many components of family relationships may be responsible for the development of depression in an individual. Enmeshed families, triangulation, less rewarding and insensitive parents and role reversals all correlated with the development of depression in parent/child relationships. Families where there is marital instability, single-parent families, and families with a depressed parent or other family member were all found to be families at high risk for developing depression in their children. Structural family therapy, marital therapy and individual therapy are recommended as possible avenues for depressed individuals. (BHK)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Doctoral research paper, Biola University.