Honors Theses


Jackson Goodnight, Ph.D



Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis


This study examines the relationship between maternal depression and offspring risk for depression. A child's difficult temperament may be especially challenging for a depressed mother. The depression, in combination with child difficult temperament, may cause changes in parenting styles that put the child at a greater risk for depression. The purpose of this study is to examine whether links between maternal depression, maternal parenting, and offspring risk for depression in adolescence vary according to child difficult temperament. It is predicted that maternal depression will be more strongly predictive of parenting deficits for mothers of children with difficult temperament. Furthermore, consistent with the differential susceptibility hypothesis, it was predicted that children with difficult temperament will be more susceptible to the negative consequences of the parenting deficiencies associated with maternal depression, such that maternal depression would more strongly predict risk for depression in adolescence. This study will use previously collected longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of mothers and their offspring. Results found support for a link between learning stimulation and risk for adolescence, and found evidence that deficiencies in learning stimulation helped explain the effect of maternal depression on adolescent offspring risk for depression.

Permission Statement

This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes


Undergraduate research



Included in

Psychology Commons