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Parental use of antidepressant medication and family type in the risk for incident psychiatric morbidity in offspring


Background Maternal depression increases the risk for psychiatric morbidity in offspring but the effects of paternal depression and family type are less studied.

Methods We assessed the effects of parental antidepressant use on offspring psychiatric morbidity in various family settings.

Results Our register-based study followed 132637 children for incident psychiatric morbidity in 1998–2003. The highest risk for psychiatric morbidity was in children living with both parents on antidepressants or with a lone parent on antidepressants. We found little variation in the effects according to parental or offspring gender.

Conclusions Parental depression as measured by antidepressant use, and single parenthood pose a risk for psychiatric morbidity in offspring.


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