Predictive links between genetic vulnerability to depression and trajectories of warmth and conflict in the mother–adolescent and father–adolescent relationships.

The present study used a genetically informed design of twins raised in the same family (375 monozygotic and 290 dizygotic twins; 50.2% girls) to examine the association between adolescents’ genetic risk for depressive symptoms and the course of the parent–child relationship quality throughout adolescence. Depressive symptoms and the quality of the parent–adolescent relationships were measured through adolescents’ self-reports from ages 13 to 17. Group-based trajectory modeling revealed that most adolescents experienced high-quality relationships with both of their parents, characterized by high levels of warmth and low levels of conflict, and marked by gradual changes over adolescence. However, 3% of adolescents showed a trajectory of high and increasing conflict with their mothers and 16% of adolescents showed a trajectory of low warmth with their fathers, which decreased until mid-adolescence before increasing thereafter. Moreover, in line with an evocative gene–environment correlation process, a higher genetic vulnerability to depressive symptoms increased the likelihood of following a more problematic relationship trajectory with parents. This rGE was mediated by adolescents’ actual depressive behavior symptoms. Results also suggest that adolescents’ depression symptoms may affect girls’ and boys’ relationship with their parents in a similar way, with specific sex-patterns revolving more around the sex of the parent. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)