Children of depressed parents are more likely to become depressed themselves and this effect increases when both parents have problems with depression. A Dutch study of 349 people between the ages of 16 and 25 from 263 families looked into the links between gender and depression. The study found that daughters had a higher risk of depression and anxiety than sons and that the children of depressed mothers had a higher risk of anxiety than the children of depressed fathers. The sons of depressed fathers had the lowest risk of anxiety and depression relative to the other groups. A second affected parent tended to increase the risk of depression and significantly increased the risk of anxiety; this effect was most prominent in daughters when the second affected parent was the father. The daughters' risk of mental-health problems was increased by paternal and maternal depression but sons' risk only increased with maternal depression. Intergenerational transmission of emotional disorders was strongest when the female gender was involved, either in the form of a daughter or a depressed mother.
Karlien, M. C. ... [et al] - Risk of emotional disorder in offspring of depressed parents: gender differences in the effect of a second emotionally affected parent Depression and Anxiety 25(8), 653-660