Children’s Optimism and Coping with Stress When Living with a Parent with Depression
In the U.S. approximately 16% of people are affected by depression in their lifetime and it is estimated that depression will become the leading cause of disability worldwide by 2020 (Monroe & Reid, 2009). In order to help prevent depression in children who live with parents with depression, Compas et al. (2009) created and tested an intervention that involved family group cognitive behavioral therapy. Within this intervention the children were taught coping skills to deal with stress associated with their parents’ depression in order to help reduce depressive symptoms in these children. The current study found that optimism is positively correlated with positive coping strategies in children. Further, the findings show that optimism plays a role in lowering children’s affective and anxiety problems on its own, separate from coping. Implications for interventions to enhance children’s coping with the stress of living with a depressed parent are highlighted.