FRIDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Depression symptoms increase
over time for women in their 30s and 40s who are prone to addiction
problems and antisocial behavior, researchers report.
The new study looked at how personal history, family life and
neighborhood instability affected alcoholism symptoms in 273 women
over a 12-year period during their early years of marriage and
motherhood. The participants lived in the U.S. Midwest.
While alcohol problems and antisocial behavior declined over
time, depression symptoms increased among the women. The study also
found that the women's partner's and children's problems also had
an effect on them. For example, women's symptoms and behaviors
worsened if their partner also struggled with addiction and
antisocial behavior, such as trouble with the law.
And negative behaviors in their children, such as acting out and
getting into trouble, tended to increase the mothers' alcohol
problems and antisocial behavior. In addition, the mothers'
depression increased when children were sad or isolated.
The researchers also found that the women's alcoholism and
depression levels were higher if they lived in an unstable
neighborhood, where residents frequently moved in and out.
The study was published in the current online edition of the
Development and Psychopathology.
"Our findings demonstrate the complexity of the factors affecting changes in alcohol problems, antisocial behavior and depression for these women," senior author Robert Zucker, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Michigan Medical School and director of the U-M Addiction Research Center, said in a University of Michigan Health System news release.
The results challenge the common beliefs that these disorders
are either just genetic disorders or caused solely by environmental
"It's really the network of these relationships -- at the biological, social and at the community level -- that influences these disorders over time," Zucker said.
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about
depression in women.