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Brain Imaging Study Finds Criticism From Parents Has A Bigger Impact On Depressed Teens Than Praise


A recent study published in Psychological Medicine has discovered that adolescents with depression are more sensitive to parental criticism and less sensitive to parental praise compared to healthy adolescents without depression, as indicated by measurements of heightened brain activity and self-reported ratings of mood.

Adolescent depression is a serious and common mental health concern, resulting in a low sense of self. Negative interactions between parents and adolescents have been linked to the development of depression. However, little is known about how adolescents with depression specifically respond to parental feedback. Hence, Lisanne van Houtum from Leiden University in the Netherlands alongside her colleagues decided to investigate the emotional and brain responses of adolescents with depression to feedback from parents – both negative feedback (criticism) and positive feedback (praise).

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