Document Type




Rights Management

Rhode Island College


Few studies have examined possible explanations (i.e., examining mediators) as to why depressive symptoms are transmitted from mothers to adolescents, as well as neglected to consider which adolescents are most vulnerable to this transmission (i.e., examining moderators). Thus, the aim of this study is to focus on stress reactivity as a moderator of the transmission of depression from mothers to adolescents through emotional insecurity. Ninetythree mother-adolescent dyads were examined, with adolescents between the ages of 13 to 17. Data was collected in the home through surveys, a mother-adolescent interaction task and physiological measures from the adolescent to examine stress response. Results suggested that emotional insecurity mediated the relationship between maternal and adolescent depressive symptoms. Findings also provided some support that higher baseline stress response acted as a partial moderator such that adolescents who evidenced a higher stress response at baseline appeared more vulnerable to the transmission of depression.

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