Measuring Depression Across Generations

Researchers have proven that children who have a parent with depression are at risk for developing the disease, too. But what processes link depression across the generations? Assistant Professor of Psychology Thomas Olino—with the aid of a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health—aims to find out. Olino recently received an award in excess of $3 million to fund his research designed to answer that question.

I sat down with Olino to talk about the technology with which he measures emotions and how the grant will support his work.

“My research examines how major depression in parents is related to the emergence of depression in their children, particularly as children develop through adolescence. My work examines several processes that may link depression across generations. More specifically, my work focuses on how parental depression predicts children’s ability to experience and express positive emotions and reactivity to rewards.”

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