Project Title

The Association Between Feeling Unwanted/Unloved and Other Predictors in Producing Adult Depressive Symptoms: Does Gender Matter?

Authors' Affiliations

Joy Okoro, Department of Biostatistics & Epidemiology,College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University,Johnson City,TN. Manik Ahuja, Department of Health Services Management &Policy, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Esther Frimpong, Department of Health Services Management & Policy, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Health Services Management & Policy

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Manik Ahuja

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Master’s

Project's Category

Behavioral or Social Studies, Mental Health

Abstract Text

INTRODUCTION

Depression affects over 18 million American adults yearly and has been identified as the leading cause of disability in people between the ages of 15 and 44 years in the United States. The purpose of this study was to analyze the association between individuals who felt unloved or unwanted during their formative years and the occurrence of depressive symptoms in adulthood.

METHODS

We examined 5,114 participants aged 24–32 years at Wave IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) public use dataset. We used logistic regression analysis to determine the association between an individual feeling unloved or unwanted by their parent or adult caregiver prior to age 18, closeness with their parents, and a host of risk and protective factors with lifetime depression. We controlled by race, income, education, and age.

RESULTS

Overall (16.2%; n=827) reported lifetime depression diagnosis. Feeling unloved by a parent/ adult caregiver was associated with higher odds of lifetime depression among males (OR= 2.95, 2.22, 3.92) than females (OR=2.16, 1.78-2.61). The participant report of a biological father spending time in prison (OR= 1.40, 1.14, 1.72) was also associated with lifetime depression.

CONCLUSION

Our results reveal that feeling unloved/unwanted is associated with depression in both males and females. Therefore, it creates the awareness that depression is not gender-based, and that both females and males require the love of their parents and adult caregivers.

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The Association Between Feeling Unwanted/Unloved and Other Predictors in Producing Adult Depressive Symptoms: Does Gender Matter?

INTRODUCTION

Depression affects over 18 million American adults yearly and has been identified as the leading cause of disability in people between the ages of 15 and 44 years in the United States. The purpose of this study was to analyze the association between individuals who felt unloved or unwanted during their formative years and the occurrence of depressive symptoms in adulthood.

METHODS

We examined 5,114 participants aged 24–32 years at Wave IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) public use dataset. We used logistic regression analysis to determine the association between an individual feeling unloved or unwanted by their parent or adult caregiver prior to age 18, closeness with their parents, and a host of risk and protective factors with lifetime depression. We controlled by race, income, education, and age.

RESULTS

Overall (16.2%; n=827) reported lifetime depression diagnosis. Feeling unloved by a parent/ adult caregiver was associated with higher odds of lifetime depression among males (OR= 2.95, 2.22, 3.92) than females (OR=2.16, 1.78-2.61). The participant report of a biological father spending time in prison (OR= 1.40, 1.14, 1.72) was also associated with lifetime depression.

CONCLUSION

Our results reveal that feeling unloved/unwanted is associated with depression in both males and females. Therefore, it creates the awareness that depression is not gender-based, and that both females and males require the love of their parents and adult caregivers.