A considerable body of literature suggests that children of a parent with depression are at heightened risk of developing maladjustments. Few studies, however, have examined protective mechanisms for this population, particularly for African American youths. Based on theoretical and empirical studies of risk and protective factors for offspring of a parent with mental illness, this study examined four adjustment outcomes associated with six protective factors among African American youths in poor communities with a primary caregiver who had depression. Families (N = 126) were drawn from an ongoing panel study, the Family and Community Health Study. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that most protective factors operated only for specific adjustment outcomes; only parental monitoring functioned across behavioral and academic domains of youth adjustment. The findings suggested that the improvement of parental monitoring skills could be essential for interventions designed to prevent multiple adjustment problems among these youths, particularly in behavioral and academic domains. Moreover, because many protective factors across different systems are likely to affect youth resilience, collaborative multisystem programs are needed to targets all of these factors.
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