Child internalizing and externalizing problems have been identified as high priority intervention targets by the World Health Organization. Parental depression is a risk factor for development of these childhood problems and may negatively influence intervention outcomes; however, studies have rarely assessed its influence on these outcomes. The present study assessed whether baseline parental depressive symptoms predicted psychotherapy outcomes among children treated for clinically signif- icant internalizing and externalizing problems. The sample included 142 children (79 with primary internalizing problems, 63 with primary externalizing problems). Children were aged 7–13, 67.6% boys, and race included Caucasian (46.5%), African- American (9.9%), Latino (5.6%), Asian (1.4%), and multi-racial (32.4%). Analyses focused on child- and parent-reported weekly trajectories of change and post-treatment symptoms among children treated for internalizing and externalizing problems whose parents did (N = 28 and 25) and did not (N = 51 and 38) have elevated depressive symptoms. For children with internalizing problems, growth curve analyses showed markedly different trajectories, by child- and parent-report: children with less depressed parents showed significantly steeper symptom declines than did children with more depressed parents, who showed an increase in symptoms. ANCOVAs showed marginally lower post-treatment symptoms for children of less depressed versus more de-
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology – Springer Journals
Published: May 28, 2018
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