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  • Writer's pictureDr. Luisa Bryce

Are moms to blame for depressed kids?

According to a new study published by researchers at McGill University, “Children of women who did not finish high school were twice as likely to experience a major episode of depression in early adulthood as children whose mothers obtained a high school diploma.” What’s more, the study stated the father’s level of education had no impact.

Huh. The researchers went on to say that the negative effect of mother’s education could not be explained by the children’s own education level or income, suggesting mothers’ parenting skills are at fault.

Great. Excellent. Wonderful to know. Let’s blame mothers, as if moms don’t worry enough their children and their parenting skills. Mom blogger Jennifer, from The Jenny Evolution, wrote an interesting and poignant post about this study in which she ponders:

“While the McGill study found a mother’s education was tied to depression, does this mean we as moms are responsible for a child who develops depression? Will society suddenly point fingers and blame mothers if their children develop depression or commit suicide?”

Jenny goes on to say moms need resources and “next steps” to combat depression, rather than research that points fingers. I couldn’t agree more, so here we go:

Depression can be caused by a number of factors including genetics, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Sometimes depression runs in families, but not always, so it’s complicated. Your best line of defense is to be knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms of depression for both adults and children because depression is most certainly treatable.

Depression in adults can take on several different forms. Here are two of my favorite, legit websites to learn more about depression in adults:

Depression symptoms in children can look very different from depression symptoms in adults. According to the NIMH:

“A child with depression may pretend to be sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that a parent may die. Older children may sulk, get into trouble at school, be negative and irritable, and feel misunderstood.”

Here are a few of my recommended websites for childhood depression:

If you suspect you or your child may be depressed, don’t wait. Contact your primary care physician or pediatrician and schedule a visit today.


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