Understanding the Sex Difference in Vulnerability to Adolescent Depression: An Examination of Child and Parent Characteristics

Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095-1563, USA.
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.48). 09/2006; 34(4):495-508. DOI: 10.1007/s10802-006-9020-4
Source: PubMed


This study examined sex differences in risk factors associated with adolescent depression in a large sample of boys and girls. Moderation and mediation explanatory models of the sex difference in likelihood of depression were examined. Findings indicate that the factors associated with depression in adolescent boys and girls are quite similar. All of the variables considered were associated with depression, but sex did not moderate the impact of vulnerability factors on likelihood of depression diagnosis. However, negative self-perceptions in the domains of achievement, global self-worth, and physical appearance partially mediated the relationship between sex and depression. Further, girls had higher levels of positive self-perceptions in interpersonal domains that acted as suppressors and reduced the likelihood of depression in girls. These findings suggest that girls' higher incidence of depression is due in part to their higher levels of negative self-perceptions, whereas positive interpersonal factors serve to protect them from depressive episodes.

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    • "Thus, symptoms of social phobia may have a greater effect on self-esteem among boys than girls. Depression is associated more directly with self-image, physical self-image [46], and perceived social acceptance, which could have a greater impact on self-esteem among girls than boys, leading to the deterioration of social functioning [19]. "
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    BMC Psychiatry 03/2014; 14(1):79. DOI:10.1186/1471-244X-14-79 · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    • "associated to depressive symptomatology during adulthood (Enns et al., 2000; Avagianou and Zafiropoulou, 2008) and are able to predict the presence of depression (Eberhart et al., 2006; Grotmol et al., 2010). Some studies have found that the bonding dimension of maternal care is a particularly strong predictor of severe depression (Grotmol et al., 2010). "
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