The Importance of Recognising Depression in Adolescents Affected by Parental Illness


Research focusing on the impact of parental illness has increased rapidly in recent years, with studies on a range of both chronic and acute illnesses having now been reported. A key and consistent finding is the elevated risk of depression that young people face when adjusting to and living with a parent experiencing such a condition. Examples from the literature include studies focusing on parental multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, cancer, affective disorder and traumatic brain injury. Such a body of literature emphasises the need to recognise and manage the increased risk of depression that young people face when confronted with such parental conditions and that a more family centred approach to parental illness is required. Additionally, it is important that the potential threat parental illness poses to young people’s mental well-being is reflected in relevant clinical guidelines.

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Morley, D. & Jenkinson, C. (2012). The Importance of Recognising Depression in Adolescents Affected by Parental Illness. Psychology, 3, 756-757. doi: 10.4236/psych.2012.329114.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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