Risk of conduct and oppositional defiant disorder symptoms in offspring of parents with mental health problems: Findings from the Raine Study

Getinet Ayano, Ashleigh Lin, Kim Betts, Robert Tait, Berihun Assefa Dachew, Rosa Alati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Epidemiological data indicate that paternal and maternal mental health difficulties are predictors of conduct disorder (CD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) in offspring. We tested the association between maternal anxiety and depressive symptoms and paternal emotional problems with CD and ODD symptoms in adolescent offspring aged 17. Methods: Data was from the Raine Study, a birth cohort study based in Western Australia. Offspring CD and ODD symptoms at age 17 years were measured using the DSM-oriented scales of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS) was used to assess maternal depressive and anxiety symptoms, and a self-reported questionnaire measured paternal emotional problems when the offspring was 10 years. Negative binomial regression model was used to explore associations. Results: Adjusting for potential confounding factors, we found an increased risk of CD symptoms in the offspring of mothers with anxiety [RR = 1.76 (95%CI; 1.08–2.86)], depressive [RR = 1.40 (95%CI; 1.01–1.95)], and comorbid anxiety and depressive symptoms [RR = 2.24 (95%CI 1.35–3.72)]. We also found an increased risk of ODD symptoms in offspring of mothers with depressive [RR = 1.24 (95%CI 1.02–1.52)], but not anxiety symptoms [RR = 1.23 (95%CI 0.92–1.67)]. No associations were seen with paternal emotional problems. Conclusion: Our study showed that adolescents whose mothers reported anxiety, depressive, and comorbid anxiety and depressive symptoms had a higher risk of CD and ODD symptoms at age 17. The findings have implications for preventive strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-59
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Volume138
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

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