Published Dec 28, 2021

Shauryaa Sharma

Anand Prakash  


Intergenerational transmission explains the continuity in behavior and personality of individuals across generations due to genetic as well as non-genetic causes. Both determinants affect individuals and increase their susceptibility to develop psychological health problems similar to the ones experienced by their parents. Psychological health of offsprings is impacted by their parents’ mental illness which causing children to be unable to adequately and positively contribute to their children’s healthy development. Extensive literature review depicts intergenerational transmission of various psychological conditions ranging from PTSD, depression, anxiety, conduct issues or even schizophrenia, among many others. Proposed models offering explanation of Intergenerational Transmission point towards social learning theories, attachment theories, psychodynamic theories and Integrative theories which mentions an overlap between genetic and environmental factors to explain the transmission. Intervention strategies of early detection and intervention, working with the affected parents and including family in therapy have been discussed. Working on the parent-child relationship, building resilience, promoting building up of protective factors is also mentioned as intervention techniques. Finally, some limitations and directions of future researches have been proposed.



Intergenerational transmission, Intergenerational trauma, Mental illness, Psychological health

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How to Cite
Sharma, S., & Prakash, A. (2021). Intergenerational Transmission of Inequality in Psychological Health. Science Insights, 39(5), 379–390. https://doi.org/10.15354/si.21.re251