Prior studies have found remarkable similarity in the family characteristics across a wide range of child psychopathologies. This study investigated the unique relationships between symptoms of depression, conduct problems/aggression, and inattention/hyperactivity and characteristics of the family environment. Parents and teachers completed multiple behavioral, emotional, and family measures to describe the characteristics of a community sample of 362 children. Results indicated that depression and conduct problems/aggression symptoms were uniquely associated with specific family environments. Both symptom clusters predicted family environments marked by less cohesiveness and intellectual/cultural pursuits and greater conflict. Depression alone was related to less expressiveness, independence, and activity, and to higher levels of control. Inattention/hyperactivity was not uniquely related to any aspect of family environment when controlling for depression and conduct/aggression problems, nor were combinations of symptoms. Findings are discussed with regard to implications for understanding clinical presentations, comorbidity, and treatment.
- Child depression
- Conduct problems
- Family environment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health