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33. Family affective responsiveness moderates the association between familial risk for depression and HPA functioning in adolescents.
TITLE: Family affective responsiveness moderates the association between familial risk for depression and HPA functioning in adolescents.
Valerie J. Micol, Andrea G. Roberts, Sarah J. Taylor-Cavelier, & Nestor L. Lopez-Duran University of Michigan Department of Psychology
Familial risk for depression is associated with atypical HPA axis functioning, which may reflect a potential mechanism for the intergenerational transmission of risk. However, it is unknown whether parental warmth (affective responsiveness) can mediate the link between familial risk and HPA-axis functioning. The current study uses data from a larger study (Detecting Risk of Youth Depression) of adolescents who are at high familial risk for depression. Participants are 101 twelve to sixteen year olds (female n=50, male n=51) of which half (n=54) have a family history of depression. Adolescents completed a laboratory visit that included diagnostic interviews with parent and teen, as well as self-report measures including the Family Assessment Device and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Adolescents also completed a stress task (Trier Social Stress Test; TSST). Saliva samples were collected at multiple time points before and after the task. Cortisol values were assayed from the saliva in order to measure HPA axis functioning during the induced stressor. We examined if perceived family functioning might mitigate the risk for increased HPA activation during the in-lab stressor. Youth at familial risk showed lower HPA axis activation in response to the TSST than their lower risk peers. Furthermore, this blunted association was lessened among those with greater familial warmth. Additionally, there was a three-way interaction between familial warmth, risk group, and trauma exposure, such that the moderating effect of familial warmth was only observed among high risk youth with high trauma exposure. This study has implications for understanding the factors that impact the intergenerational transmission of risk for depression in adolescents with high levels of trauma exposure, as well as factors which may act as protection against such risk.