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Adult Depression Influenced by Parents’ Education

Adult Depression Influenced by Parents Education Level l Emerging research suggests depression in adulthood may be tied to a parent’s level of education.

Amélie Quesnel-Vallée, Ph.D., a medical sociologist from McGill University, and co-researcher Miles Taylor reviewed 29 years of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979.

In their analysis, they reviewed associations between a parent’s education level and their children’s education level, household income and depressive symptoms. They discovered that higher levels of parental education meant fewer mental health issues for their adult children.

“However, we also found much of that association may be due to the fact that parents with more education tend to have children with more education and better paying jobs themselves,” said Quesnel-Vallée.

“What this means is that the whole process of climbing up the social ladder that is rooted in a parent’s education is a crucial pathway for the mental health of adult children.”

Researchers believe these findings imply that improving educational opportunities for everyone, but especially the underprivileged, could stop the vicious cycle between low social economic status and poor mental health.

“Children don’t get to choose where they come from. I think we have a responsibility to address health inequalities borne out of the conditions of early childhood,” said Quesnel-Vallée.

The paper was recently published in the journal Social Science & Medicine.

Source: McGill University

Depressed woman photo by shutterstock.

Adult Depression Influenced by Parents’ Education

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Adult Depression Influenced by Parents’ Education. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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