Recent research that included a large number of moms and daughters gives data to support the hypothesis that mothers who lead better lives likely to produce girls who exhibit less signs and symptoms of depression. It seems that the connection was made possible by the good lives that were led by daughters. On the other hand, there found no evidence of this connection in the sons.
In recent years, there has been a discernible rise in the number of teenagers who suffer from clinical depression. As of 2005, it was estimated that 8.7% of teenagers in the United States had had a depressive episode over the preceding 12 months. However, by 2014, this figure had increased to 11.3%. The formal name for depression in teenagers is major depressive disorder. Roughly half of all adolescents who have been diagnosed with depression also suffer from other mental problems. Depression is one of the primary causes of disability in adult populations all around the globe.
While there are aspects of one’s biology that might raise the likelihood of developing depression, an ever-expanding amount of research suggests that there are aspects of one’s healthy lifestyle that can be modified to lower that likelihood. In adults, less symptoms of depression are connected with having a good diet, not smoking, being active and fit, maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI), and drinking light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol. These factors may be considered independent of one another.
The objective of the study was to determine whether or not the behaviors of mothers throughout their children’s childhood and adolescence may be linked to an increased risk of clinical depression in those youngsters. They characterized a healthy lifestyle for moms as one in which they ate a healthy diet, had a normal body mass index, never smoked, engaged in physical activity, and consumed light to moderate amounts of alcohol.
They examined the information provided by 10,368 nursing moms and 13,478 of their children who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study II, which began in 1989. All of the nursing mothers in the study were registered nurses. At the beginning of the data-collecting process, the ages of the mothers ranged from 25 to 45 years old.
According to the findings, women who reported leading healthier lifestyles were more likely to have children who scored lower on the depression scale. This relationship was shown to be greater among children who were older. When taking into account the many aspects of a healthy lifestyle, it was shown that children of moms with a normal body mass index had lower rates of depression than those of mothers who were overweight or obese. The children of moms who never smoked and who engaged in physical activity for at least 150 minutes per week at a moderate or vigorous intensity had depression ratings that were lower than average.
After taking into account the gender of the child, the researchers found that the previously observed connections between the healthy lifestyles of mothers and the levels of depression in their kids only held true for daughters. There was no correlation found between the healthy lifestyle ratings of the mothers and the depression scores of their kids.
Additional research revealed that mothers’ healthy lifestyle scores were connected with the healthy lifestyle scores of their kids. This suggests that it is probable that the relationship between a maternal healthy lifestyle and offspring’s depression is accomplished via the healthy lives of offspring.
The authors of the research came to the conclusion that the ways of living and the actions of mothers are closely connected to the ways of living of their children. Children who are raised by moms who lead better lifestyles tend to also have healthier lifestyles as adults themselves. There are a few different processes that might be responsible for this effect on the offspring of mothers in the long run. One way is via the act of role modeling, which means that children imitate the lifestyle choices made by their parents as they develop their own habits.
The mimicry effect is another idea that suggests children inadvertently emulate the actions of their parents, which then become the standards for the children. In addition to the indirect effect that parents have on their children’s actions, the manner in which they raise their children, the extent to which they supervise them, and the substance of the upbringing they provide may all have a significant influence on the offspring’s ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout childhood, adolescence, and into adulthood through providing direction and organizing activities together.
The findings of this research shed light on critical psychological pathways that contribute to the development of depression. However, it is important to emphasize that it was based on self-reports, and all of the participants worked as nurses in their professional lives. It’s possible that the results may vary when applied to the broader population.