Comparison of Service Effectiveness for Youth With Depressed Versus Nondepressed Caregivers

Michael McCarthy, Jeffrey Schellinger, Rachel R. Smith, Gretchen Behimer, Daniel Hargraves, Karen Scherra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: (1) To compare demographic, mental health, service usage, and emotional and behavioral characteristics and strengths of youth receiving care from depressed versus nondepressed caregivers and (2) to determine whether a community-based program for reducing problematic behaviors and bolstering strengths is equally effective for youth with depressed versus nondepressed caregivers. Methods: Data from 165 caregiver–youth dyads were analyzed using Pearson’s χ2 tests, unpaired t-tests, and paired t-tests to determine pretreatment differences between groups and differences in youth outcomes over time. Results: Results indicated that youth with depressed caregivers accessed different services, exhibited more problematic behaviors, and possessed fewer strengths. However, youth with depressed caregivers also showed significantly more improvement over time than did youth with nondepressed caregivers. Discussion: Findings suggest that additional outreach to depressed caregivers about available services is needed. Additionally, caregiver depression may not always have as negative of an impact on youth outcomes as previously thought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-422
Number of pages10
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • behavioral health
  • caregivers
  • depression
  • outcomes
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology


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