Category: Parenting / Families

Symposium

Symposium 82 - Mechanisms of Risk for Intergenerational Transmission of Anxiety and Depression: Multimodal Methodologies

Saturday, November 18
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom B, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Depression | Anxiety | Risk / Vulnerability Factors
Presentation Type: Symposium

Anxiety and depressive disorders are highly familial (Merikangas et al., 2014; Hughes et al., 2009) with transmission across generations likely explained by both genetic and environmental factors (Lau & Eley, 2008). However, mechanisms underlying these relationships remain poorly understood, in part due to methodological limitations of extant research including a reliance on cross-sectional studies, small samples, and self-report data. The current symposium aims to advance an understanding of these mechanisms through triangulation of findings from diverse methodologies including longitudinal, behavioral, hormonal, genetic, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging research. Moreover, the studies presented span the continuum of basic science to applied clinical intervention research. Schwartz and colleagues will discuss functional neuroimaging findings from a reward task as well as behavior during a parent-child interaction task among children with and without depressed mothers. Kuckertz and colleagues will present data from a large population-based longitudinal study assessing relationships between maternal depression and child internalizing symptoms across time, as well as parenting practices mediating these relationships. Prospective research presented by Meyer and colleagues will further delineate mechanisms and moderators through which parenting contributes to the development of child anxiety. Findings suggest that the interaction of parenting behaviors and genetic vulnerability predicts the development of error-related negativity in early childhood, an event-related potential representing a risk factor for subsequent development of anxiety. Dougherty and colleagues will present data demonstrating greater attunement between parent-child dyads in the cortisol awakening system (a purported mechanism of risk for intergenerational transmission of psychopathology) as well as increases in parental hostility over time among dyads with versus without a parent history of depression. Finally, Lebowitz’s presentation will focus on the targeting of parent-related mechanisms in treatment of child anxiety. Specifically, he will present baseline data and treatment-related changes for children’s salivary oxytocin levels (a hormone involved in close interpersonal attachment behavior), anxiety symptoms, and parental accommodation of anxiety. Together, these talks highlight innovative research aiming to delineate the time course, mechanisms, and treatment implications of the relationship between parental and child anxiety and depression. Dr. Robin Weersing will comment on these presentations and discuss future directions in the clinical applications of this mechanistic research across diverse contexts and intervention approaches.

Learning Objectives:

Jillian Lee Wiggins

Assistant Professor
San Diego State University

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    Jennie M. Kuckertz

    San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego

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    V. Robin Weersing

    Professor
    San Diego State University

    Presentation(s):

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    Karen T. G. Schwartz

    Doctoral Student
    San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology

    Presentation(s):

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    Jennie M. Kuckertz

    San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego

    Presentation(s):

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    Alexandria Meyer

    Assistant Professor
    Florida State University

    Presentation(s):

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    Lea R. Dougherty

    Associate Professor
    University of Maryland, College Park

    Presentation(s):

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    Eli R. Lebowitz

    Assistant Professor
    Yale University Child Study Center

    Presentation(s):

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