ABSTRACT Research focusing on the impact of parental illness has increased rapidly in recent years, with studies on a range of both chronic and acute illnesses having now been reported. A key and consistent finding is the elevated risk of depression that young people face when adjusting to and living with a parent experiencing such a condition. Examples from the literature include studies focusing on parental multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, cancer, affective disorder and traumatic brain injury. Such a body of literature emphasises the need to recognise and manage the increased risk of depression that young people face when confronted with such parental conditions and that a more family centred approach to parental illness is required. Additionally, it is important that the potential threat parental illness poses to young people’s mental well-being is reflected in relevant clinical guidelines.
Cite this paper
Morley, D. & Jenkinson, C. (2012). The Importance of Recognising Depression in Adolescents Affected by Parental Illness. Psychology, 3, 756-757. doi: 10.4236/psych.2012.329114.
 Beardslee, W. R., Gladstone, T. R., & O’Connor, E. E. (2011). Transmission and prevention of mood disorders among children of affectively ill parents: A review. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 50, 1098-1109.
 Birmaher, B., Ryan, N., Williamson, D., Brent, D. & Kaufman, J. (1996). Childhood and adolescent depression; a review of the past 10 years. Part II. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 35, 1575-1583. doi:10.1097/00004583-199612000-00008
 Hammen, C. (1997). Children of depressed parents: The stress context. In S. Wolchik, & I. Sandler (Eds.) Handbook of children’s coping (pp. 131-157). New York: Plenum Press.
 Kieffer-Kristensen, R., Teasdale, T. W., & Bilenberg, N. (2011). Post- traumatic stress symptoms and psychological functioning in children of parents with acquired brain injury. Brain Injury, 25, 752-760. doi:10.3109/02699052.2011.579933
 Kramer, T., & Garralda, M. (2000). Child and adolescent mental health problems in primary care. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 6, 287- 294. doi:10.1192/apt.6.4.287
 Morley, D., Selai, C., Schrag, A., Jahanshahi, M., & Thompson, A. (2011). Adolescent and adult children of parents with Parkinson’s disease: Incorporating their needs in clinical guidelines. Parkinson’s Disease, 2011, 951874. doi:10.4061/2011/951874
 National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (2005). Depression in children and young people: Identification in primary, community and secondary care. London: HMSO.
 Potts, Y. Gillies, M., & Wood, S. (2001). Lack of mental well-being in 15-year-olds: An undisclosed iceberg? Family Practice, 18, 95-100. doi:10.1093/fampra/18.1.95
 Rowe, L., Tonge, B., & Melvin, G. (2004). When should GPs prescribe SSRIs for adolescent depression? Australian Family Physician, 33, 1005-1008.
 Schrag, A., Morley, D., Quinn, N., & Jahanshahi, M. (2004). Impact of Parkinson’s disease on patients’ adolescent and adult children. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 10, 391-397. doi:10.1016/j.parkreldis.2004.03.011
 Sihvola, E., Keski-Rahkonen, A., Dick, D., Pulkkinen, L., Rose, R., Marttunen, M., & Kaprio, J. (2007). Minor depression in adolescence: Phenomenology and clinical correlates. Journal of Affective Disorders, 97, 211-218. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2006.06.019
 Steck, B., Amsler, F., Grether, A., Dillier, A., Baldus, C., Haagen, M., Diareme, L., Tsiantis, J., Kappos, L., Burgin, D., & Romer, G. (2006). Mental health problems in children of somatically ill parents, e.g. multiple sclerosis. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 16, 199- 207. doi:10.1007/s00787-006-0589-5
 Thapar, A., Collishaw, S., Potter, R., & Thapar, A. K. (2010). Mangaing and preventing depression in adolescents. British Medical Journal, 340, 254-258. doi:10.1136/bmj.c209
 Visser, A., Huizinga, G. A., Hoekstra, H. J., van der Graaf, W. T., Klip, E. C., Pras, E., & Hoekstra-Weebers, J. E. (2005). Emotional and be- havioural functioning of children of a parent diagnosed with cancer: A cross-informant perspective. Psychooncology, 14, 746-758. doi:10.1002/pon.902
 Visser-Meily, A., Post, M., Meijer, A., Maas, C., Ketelaar, M., & Lin- deman, E. (2005a). Children’s adjustment to a parent’s stroke: Determinants of health status and psychological problems, and the role of support from the rehabilitation team. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 37, 236-241. doi:10.1080/16501970510025990
 Visser-Meily, A., Post, M., Meijer, A., van de Port, I., Maas, C., & Lindeman, E. (2005b). When a parent has a stroke: Clinical course and prediction of mood, behavior problems, and health status of their young children. Stroke, 36, 2436-2430.
 Yahav, R., Vosburgh, J., & Miller, A. (2007). Separation-individuation processes of adolescent children of parents with multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis, 13, 87-94. doi:10.1177/1352458506071163