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Preference-for-solitude and depressive symptoms in Chinese adolescents

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Abstract

Social withdrawal has been associated with internalizing difficulties across development. Although much is known about shyness, little is known about preference-for-solitude; even less is known about how preference-for-solitude might relate to youth depression in non-Western countries. Using structural equation modeling, this study examined the links between preference-for-solitude and depressive symptoms in 201 young Chinese adolescents (86 boys; M age = 14.21. years). Consistent with past research demonstrating social withdrawal as a multidimensional construct, preference-for-solitude emerged as a related but distinct construct from shyness; youth who preferred to be alone were reliably differentiated from youth who were shy. Additionally, preference-for-solitude was positively associated with negative affect and negative self-esteem after accounting for shyness. These findings closely replicate past research conducted in North America and European settings, and suggest that interventions targeting preferred-solitary youth in early adolescence may prove particularly fruitful across cultures.

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... Preference for solitude (PfS) in adolescence can be regarded as a developmental process. PfS has been said as a broad construct of unsociability and avoidance [6] and motivated by low approach and low-to-high avoidance [7]. The desire for solitude increases during adolescence, and time spent alone in adolescence can sometimes be beneficial for adjustment, perhaps because solitude facilitates individuation or identity formation [8]. ...
... On the other hand, negative aspects of PfS have also been reported. Several studies showed that PfS in early adolescence is associated with peer difficulties and maltreatment [12e14] and, in adolescence more generally, with low self-esteem, anxiety/depression, and emotional dysregulation [6,7]. Therefore, it is possible that risk for suicidal ideation (SI) and self-harm (SH) is increased in adolescents with PfS. ...
... Solitude facilitates individuation or identity formation [8] and is associated with higher levels of well-being [11]. On the other hand, PfS is associated with peer difficulties and maltreatment [12e14], low self-esteem, anxiety/depression, and emotional dysregulation [6,7]. ...
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Purpose: Social isolation is associated with suicidal ideation (SI) and self-harm (SH) among adolescents. However, the association between preference for solitude (PfS), SI, and SH is unknown. The prevalence of adolescents who have both of PfS and social isolation and the risks for SI and SH among them are also unknown. Methods: Information on PfS, social isolation, SI, and SH was collected in a large-scale school-based survey on adolescents, using a self-report questionnaire. Associations between PfS, SI, and SH were examined by logistic regression analysis. The interactions between PfS and social isolation on SI and SH were also investigated. The odds of SI and SH were examined for groups defined by presence of PfS and social isolation. Results: Responses from 17,437 students (89.3% of relevant classes) were available. After adjusting for demographic characteristics and social isolation, PfS was associated with increased odds of SI (odds ratio [OR] = 3.1) and SH (OR = 1.9). There was no interaction between PfS and social isolation on SI and SH. After adjusting for demographic characteristics, the odds for SI (OR = 8.6) and SH (OR = 3.8) were highest among adolescents with both PfS and social isolation (8.4% of all respondents). Conclusions: PfS was associated with increased odds of SI and SH in adolescents. No interaction effect between PfS and social isolation on SI and SH was found, but adolescents with PfS and social isolation had the highest risk for SI and SH. Parents and professionals should pay attention to suicide risk in adolescents with PfS.
... Individuals with a high preference for solitude are thought to have low motivation for both social approach and social avoidance (Wang et al., 2013b), and usually show a non-fearful preference for solitary activities (i.e., they refrain from social intercourse, but are not afraid of other people) (Rubin et al., 2009;Coplan and Weeks, 2010). Previous studies on the relationship between preference for solitude and individuals' psychological and behavioral adaptation have been mostly restricted to western individualistic contexts (Wang, 2016;Coplan et al., 2019) and revealed that solitude has a positive effect on individuals' development (Long and Averill, 2003). However, preference for solitude has been endowed with different meanings and values in different societies and cultures (Ding et al., 2015;Liu et al., 2015;Coplan et al., 2019). ...
... Specifically, people with high preference for solitude are more likely to experience psychological, social as well as school maladjustment (Liu et al., 2014(Liu et al., , 2015. For instance, Wang (2016) showed that preference for solitude was positively associated with negative affect. A longitudinal study also indicated that high levels of preference for solitude could predict peer problems and school difficulties across the school years (Liu et al., 2014). ...
... Preference for solitude may also be an important inducement for individuals' mobile phone addiction in the era of mobile Internet. First, prior studies have shown that people with high preference for solitude not only experience more loneliness (Liu et al., 2015) but also have lower self-esteem (Wang, 2016). Loneliness and low self-esteem have been proved to be positively associated with problematic mobile phone use (Wang P. et al., 2017;Shen and Wang, 2019). ...
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Background: With the increasing incidence of mobile phone addiction, the potential risk factors of mobile phone addiction have attracted more and more researchers’ attention. Although various personality trait factors have been proven to be significant predictors of mobile phone addiction, limited attention has been paid to preference for solitude. Considering the adverse impacts of preference for solitude in the context of collectivistic societies and its possible negative effect on mobile phone addiction, this study was designed to examine the relationship between preference for solitude and mobile phone addiction, and to test the mediating role of psychological distress and the moderating role of mindfulness in this relationship. Methods: Data were collected through convenience sampling from a comprehensive university in China. A total of 927 Chinese college students (371 males and 556 females), aged from 16 to 24 ( M age = 19.89 years, SD = 1.22), participated in this study. Their preference for solitude, psychological distress, mindfulness, and mobile phone addiction were measured using well-validated self-report questionnaires. Results: Correlational analyses, sobel test, SPSS macro PROCESS (Model 8) and simple slopes analyses were used for major data analysis. Results showed that preference for solitude was significantly and positively associated with mobile phone addiction, and this link could be mediated by psychological distress. Moreover, the indirect effect of psychological distress in this link was moderated by mindfulness, with this effect being stronger for college students with lower levels of mindfulness. However, mindfulness can not moderate the direct relation between preference for solitude and mobile phone addiction. Conclusion: The present study broadened our knowledge of how and when (or for whom) preference for solitude is related to mobile phone addiction. Education professionals and parents should pay special attention to the psychological distress and mobile phone addiction of college students with high levels of preference for solitude, particularly for those with lower levels of mindfulness.
... Many studies have noted that internal psychological variables are related to preference for solitude. For example, adolescents with low self-esteem and low self-efficacy prefer to solitude, which is probably because of the social and emotional disorders in their development [3,12,13]. Because adolescents with low self-esteem are not easily accepted by their classmates in school, they are more likely to be separated from their peers and spend more time alone. ...
... Therefore, the results were in support of our Hypotheses 1 to 3. Furthermore, the results reveal that greater self-efficacy may lead to improved solitary coping, whereas improved self-esteem, self-efficacy, and relationship with family result in a higher level of solitary comfort. The regression model in this study exhibited limited explanatory power, but the results contradicted those of other studies on solitude preference [3,12,13,17]. Other research noted potential problems such as low self-esteem, low self-efficacy, and poor interpersonal relationships among university students with solitude preference. ...
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Background: Studies on the solitude capacity of university students have been extremely limited and failed to clearly illustrate the correlation of solitude capacity with internal psychological variables and the favorability of interpersonal relationships. The aim of this study was to explore the correlation of college students’ solitude capacity with scores for self-esteem, self-efficacy, and interpersonal relationships. Method: A cross-sectional study was adopted for this study. Data were collected from a university in southern Taiwan using a structured questionnaire, the content of which included demographic data and scores from the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE), the General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE), the Interpersonal Relationship Scale (IRS), and the Solitude Capacity Scale (SCS). Results: The final sample comprised 562 participants (mean age = 17.51 ± 1.27 years). Adjustment of the demographic variables yielded a significantly positive correlation in the total RSE and SCS (p < 0.01) scores and that in the total GSE and SCS (p < 0.01) scores. Moreover, the relationship with family (IRS subscale) and total SCS score (p < 0.05) exhibited a significant positive correlation. Conclusion: The findings of this study reveal that solitude capacity is significantly correlated with self-esteem, self-efficacy, and the favorability of family relationships.
... In addition, some scholars have suggested that teenagers who are isolated do not necessarily feel lonely and argued that they might start to enjoy and capitalize on being alone once they realize the benefits and gain the ability to remain alone [9]. Nevertheless, studies have focused predominantly on the negative effects of spending time alone and of loneliness on teenagers and showed limited understanding of teenagers' capacity for solitude [10][11][12][13]. ...
... Teenagers' attitudes toward solitude are considered to reflect their adaptation to a particular developmental stage and to be related to their personality traits; however, the descriptions of these personality traits are often negative, like introverted melancholy [13,14]. Thus, the public has a negative impression of the " Solitary" individual. ...
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Background: Teenagers described as enjoying their own company have been claimed to have a weird personality and experience loneliness and negative emotions and have often been labeled with negative attributes. However, previous studies have provided a limited understanding of teenagers’ capacity for solitude. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore the correlations between teenagers’ capacity for solitude and both personality traits and physical and mental health. Methods: This study employed a cross-sectional research design and collected data from a junior college located in Taiwan using a structured questionnaire, which consisted of demographic questions, a solitude capacity scale, a personality trait scale, and a physical and mental health scale. Results: A total of 562 participants were recruited (age = 17.56 ± 1.58 years). The total score of the solitude capacity scale was significantly correlated with four elements of the personality traits subscale: neuroticism, extraversion, openness, and conscientiousness. The solitude capacity subscale (i.e., the solitude-coping subscale) showed significant correlations with two of the physical and mental health elements, i.e., anxiety and insomnia and severe depression. Conclusions: The results verified the correlations between capacity for solitude and personality traits and did not show a positive association with negative personality traits (i.e., neuroticism). Moreover, the solitude coping capacity correlated positively with anxiety levels and negatively with depression.
... Similarly, studies in China also demonstrate an increasing trend of depressive symptoms among early adolescents. For example, in a sample from Taiwan, results showed a trajectory with an increasing growth rate over time in the intensity of depressive symptoms in early adolescence (Wang (2016)). In mainland China, a longitudinal study of depressive symptoms among a large sample of adolescents (aged 10-19 years) also revealed a linear increasing trajectory of depressive symptoms (Hou & Chen, 2016). ...
Article
Preferring to spend time alone (for any reason) has been empirically linked to symptoms of internalizing problems among Chinese children and early adolescents. However, little is known about the implications of affinity for solitude (i.e., an enjoyment of solitude) in China. Moreover, it remains unclear how affinity for solitude and depressive symptoms development simultaneously in early adolescence. To address these gaps, this study examined the longitudinal and parallel associations between affinity for solitude and depressive symptoms among Chinese early adolescents. Participants were 853 adolescents (48.4% female; M age = 14.65 years, SD = 0.54) from mainland China followed over three years from Grade 7 to Grade 9. Assessments of affinity for solitude and depressive symptoms were obtained each year via adolescent self-reports. Among the findings, results from parallel latent growth modeling suggested that higher initial levels of affinity for solitude in Grade7 negatively predicted the slope of adolescents' depressive symptoms. This indicates that higher levels of affinity for solitude in Grade 7 predicted a slower increase in adolescents' depressive symptoms levels over three years. Implications are discussed that consider the adaptive mechanism of affinity for solitude among Chinese adolescents in the development of depressive symptoms.
... Similarly, studies in China also demonstrate an increasing trend of depressive symptoms among early adolescents. For example, in a sample from Taiwan, results showed a trajectory with an increasing growth rate over time in the intensity of depressive symptoms in early adolescence (Wang (2016)). In mainland China, a longitudinal study of depressive symptoms among a large sample of adolescents (aged 10-19 years) also revealed a linear increasing trajectory of depressive symptoms (Hou & Chen, 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
Preferring to spend time alone (for any reason) has been empirically linked to symptoms of internalizing problems among Chinese children and early adolescents. However, little is known about the implications of affinity for solitude (i.e., an enjoyment of solitude) in China. Moreover, it remains unclear how affinity for solitude and depressive symptoms development simultaneously in early adolescence. To address these gaps, this study examined the longitudinal and parallel associations between affinity for solitude and depressive symptoms among Chinese early adolescents. Participants were 853 adolescents (48.4% female; Mage = 14.65 years, SD = 0.54) from mainland China followed over three years from Grade 7 to Grade 9. Assessments of affinity for solitude and depressive symptoms were obtained each year via adolescent self-reports. Among the findings, results from parallel latent growth modeling suggested that higher initial levels of affinity for solitude in Grade7 negatively predicted the slope of adolescents’ depressive symptoms. This indicates that higher levels of affinity for solitude in Grade 7 predicted a slower increase in adolescents’ depressive symptoms levels over three years. Implications are discussed that consider the adaptive mechanism of affinity for solitude among Chinese adolescents in the development of depressive symptoms.
... Low levels of approach related motivations may make some individuals less likely to form new close social relationships, increase the time spent alone, and lead to relatively high levels of shyness across development. In support of these speculations, shyness and low approach motivations have indeed been associated with a preference for solitude (Barstead et al., 2018;Wang, 2016). ...
Article
One long-standing theoretical model of shyness proposes that the origins and maintenance of shyness are associated with an approach-avoidance motivational conflict (Asendorpf, 1990), such that shy individuals are motivated to socially engage (high approach motivation) but are too anxious to do so (high avoidance motivation). However, this model has not been empirically tested in predicting the develop-ment of shyness. In two separate longitudinal studies, we used the Carver and White (1994) Behavioral Inhibition and Activation System (BIS/BAS) scales as a proxy of approach-avoidance motivations and growth curve analyses to examine whether individual differences in these hypothesized motivational tendencies were associated with the development of shyness across 3 years from late childhood to adolescence (Study 1, N = 1284; 49.8% female, Mage = 10.72, SDage = 1.73, M level of parental education fell between associate’s degree/diploma and undergraduate degree) and across nearly a decade from emerging adulthood to young adulthood (Study 2, N = 83; 57.8% females, Mage = 23.56 years, SDage = 1.09 years, 92.8% had at least a high school education). Contrary to the approach-avoidance conflict model of shyness, we found that a combination of high BIS/low BAS, not high BIS/high BAS, was associated with relatively higher shyness contemporaneously and across development in both studies. We discuss the processes that might link individual differences in approach-avoidance motivations to the development of shyness in adolescence and young adulthood.
... They shift their attention from family to peer group, and relationship in the school and community contexts (Wigfield, Byrnes, & Eccles, 2006). Recent studies have found that the peer group has a role in the etiology of depression among adolescents and adults (Wang, 2016;Yin et al., 2017). For example, in a study by Cheng et al. (2008) on 712 Hong Kong adolescent ninth graders (mean age 15.7), it was reported that peer victimization is associated with depressive symptoms. ...
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Adolescent depression has been shown to be increasing in Hong Kong. There is a need to address this problem. The studies of the risk and protective factors have focused on how individual, peer, and family predictors are related to depressive symptoms. The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on depressive symptoms in Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong. Specifically, this study presents a brief review of protective and risk correlates of depressive symptoms in Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong, with an ecological perspective. Individual risk correlates, such as low self-esteem and high levels of rumination; peer correlates, such as social withdrawal and limited social networks; family correlates, such as parent-child triangulation and high parental expectations, are significantly associated with adolescent depression. Moreover, individual protective correlates, such as hope and positive affect; social-related correlates, such as extensive social network and peer support; and family correlates, such as high parental warmth and family cohesion, were considered factors to reduce the risk of depression. Several limitations of previous studies are noted. First, the sample size is small and targets are limited to children and youth. They were also limited by the locations and times at which questionnaire distribution was conducted. Second, most studies are not theory-driven and have failed to examine adolescent depression with sophisticated statistical analyses; for example, some cross-sectional studies were unlikely to establish causality between the identified factors and symptoms of depression. Therefore, future study could attempt to fill in the knowledge gap by integrating the ecological model and wellness theory as a theoretical framework to explain adolescent depression, and could consider a relatively larger and different sample with longitudinal studies. More sophisticated analyses are needed to examine the indirect and interactive effects of different variables (e.g. family, peer, and individual factors) as mediators and moderators to help understand the underlying mechanism related to adolescents' depression.
... The students with low levels of social competences are more likely to be rejected by their peers, which can cause reduced interpersonal contacts as well as a lack of opportunities for developing these competences [12], [13], and consequently, also lower self-esteem [14,15]. Many studies have noted that adolescents with low self-esteem prefer solitude, which is probably because of the social and emotional disorders in their development [15][16][17][18]. People with higher self-esteem are braver when establishing new relationships and are more willing to do so when compared to individuals with lower levels of this trait [12]. ...
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The objective of this study is to analyse the impact of physical education based on the adventure education programme on the social competences of adolescent boys. The participants (n = 70) were 1st grade high school students between 15 and 16 years old. Adolescents’ social competences were measured using the Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) and Social Competence Questionnaire (SCQ) before and after the intervention. An experimental repeated-measures design was used, with a comparison group. ANOVA (2 × 2) for interaction group x time showed statistical significance in competences revealed in situations of social exposure (F1, 68 = 5.16, p < 0.05, partial η2 = 0.07) and competences revealed in situations requiring assertiveness (F1, 68 = 4.73, p < 0.05, partial η2 = 0.07). Using the adventure education (AE) programme may be recommended as a way of developing social skill competences revealed in situations of social exposure and competences revealed in situations requiring the assertiveness of adolescents through physical activity that can be easily integrated into the school environment.
... Many clinical studies have found medical impacts of social isolation on psychiatric disorders; for example, there is a high risk of suicide attempts among people living alone and people who are rejected by their families (Welch, 2001;Yadegarfard et al., 2014;Niu et al., 2020). Early solitude in adolescents is associated with emotional dysfunctions, including low self-esteem, self-harm, and suicidal ideation (Hall-Lande et al., 2007;Wang, 2016;Endo et al., 2017). ...
Article
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This study aimed to help to understand the influence of stress on depression, which reflects the social environments of especially solitary life and the increasing prevalence of depressive disorders. To determine the distinguishable features of two-representative animal models of stress-induced depressive disorder, we compared isolation stress (IS) and unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS). After 4-week of stress, both models showed significant depressive- and anxiety-like behaviors in an open field test (OFT; p < 0.01 for IS, p < 0.01 for UCMS), forced swimming test (FST; p < 0.01 for IS, p < 0.01 for UCMS), and tail suspension test (TST; p < 0.01 for IS, p < 0.05 for UCMS) along with alterations in serum corticosterone levels, serotonin activity in the dorsal raphe nuclei (DRN) and microglial activity in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus ( p < 0.05 for both parameters). In a comparison of the two stress models, IS strongly induced depressive and anxiety features, as indicated by all parameters: behavior test scores ( p < 0.05 for OFT, FST, and TST), serum corticosterone levels ( p < 0.05), immunohistological alterations for serotonin activity ( p < 0.05) and microglial activity ( p = 0.072). Our results indicate the suitability of IS for the development of animal models of depressive disorders and may reveal the medical impact of social isolation environment in modern society.
... Studies have shown that unsociable adolescents experience increased psychological adjustment difficulties, including low self-worth, and depressive symptoms and loneliness (Liu et al., 2014Sang et al., 2018). For instance, findings from Wang's (2016) study revealed that after controlling for the effect of shyness, preference for solitude was associated with low levels of self-esteem. ...
Article
The goal of this study was to evaluate a complex theoretical model linking gender, unsociability, peer relations, and indices of psychological maladjustment among children in the People's Republic of China. Participants were 711 (395 boys) Grade 4 to Grade 8 (Mage = 10.98 years, SD = 1.56) students selected from 4 public schools in Shanghai. Multi‐source assessments were employed, including peer nominations of unsociability, sociometric nominations to measure peer preference, as well as child self‐reports of friendship quality, depressive symptoms, loneliness, and self‐worth. Among the results, both peer preference and friendship quality mediated the associations between unsociability and psychological maladjustment. Further analyses revealed that such mediating effects were significantly moderated by gender. Specifically, the mediating effects of friendship quality in the associations between unsociability and psychological maladjustment only existed for boys. In addition, peer preference played a mediation role in the associations between unsociability and psychological maladjustment for both boys and girls, although the strength of the associations was stronger among boys than girls. Findings are discussed in terms of the importance of considering gender and different types of peer experiences in studies of unsociable children in Mainland China.
... Introverts, in particular, are more likely to have a preference for solitude (Cain, 2013) and to seek it out as a way to recharge for future social engagement, whereas extroverts may not choose solitude as often and may struggle with it when they have it. Importantly, introversion does not equate with shyness, and shyness is not the same construct as a preference for solitude (Wang, 2016). Leary et al. (2003) also discussed attitudes toward solitude. ...
Article
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This essay reviews the extant literature on solitude – and its related concepts – and argues that, time alone, when done with volition, can be seen as an intentional act that may affect a range of interpersonal and relational processes, usually in ways that are seen as positive. It is, however, often linked in the larger literature with variables identified as problematic, such as loneliness, and seen injurious to relationships. I suggest a more benign view of time in solitude and discuss its potential importance to understanding and predicting an array of communicative processes, such as greater ability to be present and engaged in dialogue, to listen well, and to experience and express intimacy and affection. Overall, the essay looks at the paradoxical – but compelling – nature of separation on connection and the way that this conceptualization aligns with theories in our field, with the hope of presenting it as a way to enhance well-being and interpersonal communicative and relational quality.
... In recent studies in which unsociability (a.k.a. 'preference for solitude') was self-reported Liu, Zhou, et al., 2015;Sang et al., 2016;Wang, 2016;Zhou & Liu, 2016), unsociability was significantly, but weakly-tomoderately, correlated with peer problems, internalizing problems (loneliness, self-worth, depression, social anxiety), and school/academic problems (shyness was not controlled). Using a person-centered approach, Coplan et al. (2016) reported that unsociable children (high on unsociability and low on shyness) did not differ from shy children (high on shyness and low on unsociability) in these indices, except for social anxiety for which shy children scored higher. ...
Article
We examined cross-informant agreement of unsociability and associations of unsociability with social and school adjustment. Participants were 229 (48% girls; Mage = 14.25, SD = .78 years) seventh- and eighth-graders in Liaoning, China. Unsociability and shyness were assessed with self-reports and peer nominations. Social and school adjustment data were obtained from multiple sources (self-, peer-, teacher-reports). Peer-reported unsociability was not significantly correlated with self-reported unsociability, but was positively correlated with self-reported shyness. Path models indicated that controlling for shyness and demographic covariates, peer-, but not self-reported, unsociability was associated with low peer acceptance, high peer rejection and exclusion, low school liking, and low academic performance and achievement. The findings suggest that unsociable Chinese adolescents may have multifaceted adjustment difficulties with peers and at school, but only when perceived as unsociable by peers. Methodological and theoretical implications of the results and the lack of correspondence between self- and peer-reports were discussed.
Thesis
Integrating the ecological model and the wellness theory, this study investigated the relationship between depressive symptoms and personal factors (hopelessness, body image, social problem solving, emotional competence, life meaning, equanimity), peer factor (peer alienation) and family factor (childhood abuse and trauma) among college students in Hong Kong. Adopting a cross-sectional survey design, a total of 786 self-administered questionnaires based on convenience sampling (male= 67.2 %, female= 32.8%) were collected from eight youth colleges on Hong Kong Island, in Kowloon and the New Territories. Among them, 352 (44.8%) respondents reported having depressive symptoms (The Beck Depression Inventory scores 14 or above). The participants, with a mean age of 19.16, were Year 1 and Year 3 diploma students in the youth colleges in Hong Kong. Analysis shows that college students with special education needs had a significantly higher level of depressive symptoms. Pearson correlation analysis shows that social problem solving and equanimity were negatively related to college student's depressive symptoms. At the same time, childhood abuse and trauma, peer alienation, and hopelessness were positively related to the student's depressive symptoms. The mediation models, sequential mediation model, and moderated mediation models were tested in the study. In the mediation models, results show that peer alienation and hopelessness mediated the relation between the experience of childhood abuse and trauma and depressive symptoms independently. In the sequential mediation model, peer alienation and hopelessness sequentially mediated the relation between the experience of childhood abuse and trauma and depressive symptoms. In the moderated mediation model, social problem solving, and i equanimity moderated the indirect relation between the experience of childhood abuse and trauma and depressive symptoms via hopelessness and the sequential mediating effect of peer alienation and hopelessness. The theoretical implications of the findings are that social problem solving, equanimity, childhood abuse and trauma, peer alienation, hopelessness can be considered as crucial building blocks in the models of college students' depressive symptoms. Practically speaking, to reduce the tendency for depressive symptoms among abused adolescents, it is important to strengthen peer relationships, reduce peer alienation, alleviate hopelessness, prevent childhood abuse and trauma, enhance social problem abilities, promote equanimity, and prevent mental health problems with reference to the integrated ecological and wellness model, which is proven to be important for reducing a tendency for depressive symptoms among abused adolescents. More longitudinal research with multiple informants, such as parents and teachers, is called for to explain how wellness factors may comprise additional moderation and mediating effects for the relationship between abused adolescents and their development.
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Although much is known about peer victimization, the majority of the longitudinal research in this area has been restricted to Western settings. The main objective of this study was to examine the interpersonal (rejection) and personal (withdrawal, aggression) antecedents and consequences of victimization for Chinese children living in Hong Kong. A sample of 1,058 children (501 boys; M age = 9.5 years) in Hong Kong was followed longitudinally from the 3rd and 4th grades to the 7th and 8th grades. Consistent with a transactional framework, rejection and withdrawal contributed to, as well as resulted from, victimization. Although victimization predicted later aggression, aggression was unrelated to later victimization. These findings closely replicate past research conducted in North America and European settings, and suggest considerable correspondence in the links between maladaptive child characteristics and victimization across Western and Hong Kong schools.
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Social withdrawal has been associated with adjustment difficulties across development. Although much is known about shyness, little is known about preference-for-solitude; even less is known about its relations with adjustment across different periods of adolescence. We examined whether preference-for-solitude might be differentially associated with adjustment difficulties in early and late adolescence. Self- and parent-reports of withdrawal motivations and adjustment were collected from 234 eighth graders (113 boys; M age = 13.43) and 204 twelfth graders (91 boys; M age = 17.25). Results from structural equation modeling demonstrated that above and beyond the effects of shyness, preference-for-solitude was more strongly associated with adjustment difficulties in 8th grade than in 12th grade. Preference-for-solitude was associated with greater anxiety/depression, emotion dysregulation, and lower self-esteem in 8th grade; these relations were not found in 12th grade. Although preference-for-solitude was associated with lower social competence in both 8th and 12th grades, this relation was significantly stronger in 8th grade than in 12th grade. Findings suggest preference-for-solitude has closer ties to maladjustment in early adolescence than in late adolescence. Interventions targeting preferred-solitary youth in early adolescence may be particularly fruitful.
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The present investigation examined the stability and the concurrent and predictive correlates of different forms of social withdrawal in childhood. Eighty-eight Grade 2 children were observed during free play and were assessed by peers and teachers on measures of social withdrawal, popularity, and aggression. The children's perceptions of their social skills were also measured. In Grade 4, 81 children were assessed, 55 of whom had been in the original sample. In addition to the Grade 2 measures, children's reports of loneliness and depression were gathered. In Grade 5, 77 children participated, including 51 from the original sample; all measures taken in this grade were similar to those in Grade 4, with the exclusion of behavioral observations. The data revealed at least two distinct subtypes of social isolation, passive-anxious and active-immature. Passive isolation was stable across the three grades; was consistently and concurrently related to peer rejection, internalizing difficulties, and negative social self-perceptions; and was generally unrelated to externalizing problems across all three grades. Moreover, indices of passive isolation in second grade tended to predict depression and loneliness in fifth grade. In contrast, active-immature isolation was infrequent and unstable. This form of isolation was more often associated with aggression and with externalizing rather than internalizing difficulties; however, active isolation was not predictive of subsequent problems in Grade 5.
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The present study was based on the clinical data summaries ("item sheets") of children who attended the Maudsley Hospital, London, England, during the late 1960s and early 1970s. These summaries were used to identify a group of 80 child and adolescent psychiatric patients with an operationally defined depressive syndrome. The depressed children were individually matched with 80 nondepressed psychiatric controls on demographic variables and nondepressive childhood symptoms by a computer algorithm. At follow-up, on average 18 years after the initial contact, information was obtained on the adult psychiatric status of 82% of the total sample. Adult assessments were made "blind" to case/control status. The depressed group was at an increased risk for affective disorder in adult life and had elevated risks of psychiatric hospitalization and psychiatric treatment. They were no more likely than the control group to have nondepressive adult psychiatric disorders. These findings suggested that there is substantial specificity in the continuity of affective disturbances between childhood and adult life.
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