Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Science


Vasilenko, Sara


Adolescent Depression, Parent-child Closeness, Parent-child Relationships, Young Adult Depression

Subject Categories

Development Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


Past research has suggested that adolescent parent-child relationships may have an impact on adolescent and young adult mental health. However, there are gaps in the previous research regarding relationships between these areas. The goal of the present study is to examine the relationship between an individual's closeness to their residential mother and father in adolescence and their depressive symptoms in young adulthood. The study also looks at how the biological sex of the individual moderates this relationship, and further examines if parental closeness has any significant role in the relationship on young adult depression above the effect of adolescent depression. The research question for the study is as followed: how does an adolescent's closeness to their residential mother and/or father impact their depressive symptoms as a young adult, and how are these associations moderated by said adolescent's biological sex? Using secondary data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, linear regressions were used to examine various relationships between closeness to residential mother and father in adolescence, biological sex of the participant, depressive symptoms in adolescence, and depressive symptoms in young adulthood. The findings of the study showed a negative association between closeness to parents in adolescence and depressive symptoms in young adulthood. Overall, young adult females experience greater depressive symptoms. Additionally, closeness to fathers more significantly impacts male depressive symptoms, while closeness to mothers more significantly impacts female depressive symptoms. Lastly, a greater presence of depressive symptoms in adolescence is associated with a greater presence of depressive symptoms in young adulthood.


Open Access



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