Parenting, Pesticides and Adolescent Psychological Adjustment: A Brief Report

Joseph G. Grzywacz, Jason B. Belden, Amy M. Robertson, Daphne C. Hernandez, Fiorella L. Carlos Chavez, Michael J. Merten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Pesticides used to control insects, such as pyrethroids, are neurotoxicants, yet adolescent researchers often overlook their potential role in adolescent psychological adjustment. This brief report is guided by bioecological theory and considers the possible independent and interactive effects of environmental pyrethroid pesticide exposure for adolescent depressive symptoms. Selfreported adolescent appraisals of the parent–child relationship and depressive symptoms were obtained from a convenience sample of impoverished, predominantly Latino urban youth (n = 44). Exposure to environmental pyrethroids was obtained from wipe samples using a standardized protocol. Parent–adolescent conflict was higher in households with bifenthrin than those without, and adolescent depressive symptoms were elevated in homes where cypermethrin was detected. In addition, the presence of bifenthrin in the home attenuated the protective effects of parental involvement on adolescent depressive symptoms. The current results suggest that adolescent mental health researchers must consider the synergistic combinations of adolescents’ environments’ physical and social features. Given the endemic presence of pesticides and their neurotoxic function, pesticide exposure may demand specific attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number540
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Adolescent depression
  • Immigrants
  • Pesticides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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