To examine predictors of school dropout and adolescent sexual behavior in offspring of depressed and nondepressed mothers. Possible moderators of the relation between maternal depression and these outcomes also were explored.Participants were 240 mothers and adolescents assessed annually from 6th through 12th grade. Interviews and questionnaires measured the chronicity and severity of the mother's depressive episodes, the mother's educational attainment, socioeconomic status, the presence of a father, the adolescent's IQ, externalizing behaviors, and substance use disorders.Substance use disorders before ninth grade significantly predicted higher rates of both school dropout and adolescent sexual behavior. Lower levels of mother's educational attainment and higher rates of adolescent's externalizing behaviors in grades 6 through 8 predicted higher school dropout. Higher IQ was associated with a lower likelihood of dropping out among offspring of never or moderately depressed mothers, but not for offspring of chronic/severely depressed mothers. Among offspring of never or moderately depressed mothers, the presence of a male head of household was associated with lower rates of adolescent sexual behavior, but not among offspring of chronically/severely depressed mothers.These findings have implications for the development of programs aimed at preventing behavior problems in high-risk adolescents.
View details for DOI 10.1097/01.chi.0000246052.30426.6e
View details for Web of Science ID 000243146600005
View details for PubMedID 17195725