When parents matter to their adult children: Filial reliance associated with parents' depressive symptoms
A neglected topic in aging depression research is the potential role of the parent-adult child relationship. In this study we examined whether adult children's reports of having relied upon parents for instrumental and expressive support are associated with parents' depressive symptoms. The sample included 304 parents (aged 50-72 years), matched to a randomly selected adult offspring, from the University of Southern California Longitudinal Study of Generations. We measured parents' depressive symptoms by using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale at baseline and 3 and 6 years later. The final longitudinal analysis showed that, when we adjusted for relevant variables including age, gender, income, self-rated health, and child's depressive symptoms, the adult child's reliance on instrumental support was associated with fewer parental depressive symptoms (p =.036). Expressive support did not show the same pattern. Thus, adult children's reliance on instrumental support might contribute to their parents' mental health.