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Depression Research and Treatment
Volume 2015, Article ID 347971, 9 pages
Research Article

Increasing Understanding in Children of Depressed Parents: Predictors and Moderators of Intervention Response

1Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481, USA
2Clinical Research Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA
3Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
4Department of Psychiatry, Boston Children’s Hospital, 21 Autumn Street, Boston, MA 02215, USA

Received 24 June 2015; Accepted 30 July 2015

Academic Editor: Verinder Sharma

Copyright © 2015 Tracy R. G. Gladstone et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We evaluated predictors and moderators of differential response to two family-based depression prevention programs for families with a depressed parent: a clinician-facilitated intervention and a lecture group intervention. Individual and family level variables were examined using regression analyses with generalized estimating equations. For the outcome of child understanding of depression, parental changes in child-related behaviors and attitudes predicted greater child understanding (). For the parent outcome of behavior and attitude change, across intervention conditions, younger parent age (), female parent gender (), more chronic and severe parental depression history (), lower SES (), and single-parent status () were associated with better outcomes across conditions. Effect sizes were moderate, ranging from 0.4 to 0.7 SD. Family and marital functioning were not found to be predictors of any outcomes. When both parents were depressed at baseline, there was no difference in the clinician- versus lecture-based approach, and when only the father was depressed, families reported more changes with the clinician condition than with the lecture condition (). Findings from this study can help identify intervention strategies that are appropriate for different types of at-risk individuals and families.