Katie L. Burkehouse, Ph.D.

Fellow In Child & Adolescent Depression

Project Details

Mentors

K. Luan Phan, M.D.
Bruce E. Compas, Ph.D.


Institution

University of Illinois at Chicago


Project

Targeting Biomarkers of Risk among Offspring of Depressed Parents through Family Cognitive Behavioral Preventive Intervention


PROJECT TITLE

Targeting Biomarkers of Risk among Offspring of Depressed Parents through Family Cognitive Behavioral Preventive Intervention

PROJECT SUMMARY

Offspring of depressed parents, a population at extremely high risk for developing major depressive disorder (MDD), are characterized by deficits in reward and social-emotional processing at the neural level. Specifically, the reward positivity (RewP), an event-related potential (ERP) component sensitive to reward, is attenuated in youth of parents with a history of depression. Moreover, during social-emotional processing, offspring of depressed parents exhibit a reduced late positive potential (LPP), an ERP component reflecting sustained attention to social-emotional stimuli. These markers of risk (i.e., RewP and LPP) appear to be influenced by parenting practices, raising the possibility that they can be altered through environmental processes. However, no studies have examined whether these biomarkers can be corrected through targeted intervention to reduce offspring depression. The current study will leverage a well-developed evidence-based family group cognitive behavioral (FGCB) prevention program to examine whether the RewP and LPP can be altered in youth (ages 9-15) of depressed parents to reduce MDD risk. A secondary aim of the current project will be to characterize the relationship between these biological markers of risk and response to the FGCB intervention among offspring of depressed parents. It is anticipated that the RewP and LPP can be increased among youth of depressed parents through the FGCB intervention, and that changes in these biomarkers will correspond to intervention response. Findings from the current project have the potential to improve clinical outcomes and optimize limited resources for high risk families.

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