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A recent research study shows that grandkids who have a multi generational history of MDD, or major depressive disorder, will have higher risks of developing depression as well. The study investigators determined that when an individual has both a parent and a grandparent with MDD the risk for the individual to develop depression is much higher. Knowing the increase in risk could help with identification so that grandkids who face these higher risks may benefit from early intervention. The full study details were published in the online journal JAMA Psychiatry. This is the first study published that looks at depression over 3 generations, and that uses direct interviews with all three generations of family members. The study looked at 251 grandkids, with an average age of 18, as well as the parents and grandparents of the grandchildren.

The study conclusion for the research on grandkids, generational history, and depression stated “In this study, biological offspring with two previous generations affected with major depression were at highest risk for major depression, suggesting the potential value of determining family history of depression in children and adolescents beyond two generations. Early intervention in offspring of two generations affected with moderate to severely impairing MDD seems warranted.” A well established fact is that parental depression raises the psychiatric disorder risks that the child faces. The latest research also shows how important it is to look further into the generational history than just the parents of a child because the risk is impacted by more than a single generation.