The study examined differences between males and females in depressive symptoms by levels of positive family relationships during adolescence as measured by family cohesion (adolescent reports about how much their family understood them, had fun, and paid attention to them) and the absence of parent-child conflict (adolescent reports of a serious argument in the past month over their behavior).
‘Positive family relationships as an adolescent can protect against adulthood depression.
Family cohesion and the absence of parent-child conflict were associated with a lower risk of depression from adolescence into midlife.
The reduction in depressive symptoms associated with positive adolescent family relationships was greater for females than males during adolescence and into the early 20s but then leveled out to be equally beneficial for males and females throughout young adulthood into midlife.
Limitations of the study include a self-reported measure of depressive symptoms, and preadolescent family relationships that weren’t examined.