Teen depression: No genes required | Science News


Support nonprofit journalism

Subscribe now


Teen depression: No genes required

Depressed moms can raise their children’s risk for depression via nurture alone

12:28pm, September 12, 2008

Some youngsters suffer from depression in the absence of any genetic legacy, a new investigation finds.

Researchers report that having a depressed mother substantially ups a teenager’s likelihood of becoming depressed, even if he or she was adopted and shares no genes with the mother.

This finding provides the first direct evidence that purely environmental factors can promote depression in the children of depressed women, says a team led by psychologist Erin Tully of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Having a depressed father does not increase depression susceptibility in either adopted or non-adopted teens, Tully and her colleagues report in the September American Journal of Psychiatry.

Two other investigations, both published in the same journal, further emphasize nurture’s role in depression. Th
This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content