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Title:The Emerging Sex Difference in Adolescent Depression: Interactional and Transactional Contributions of Puberty and Peer Stress
Author(s):Conley, Colleen S.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Rudolph, Karen D.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Clinical
Abstract:This research examined the individual, interactional, and transactional contributions of puberty and peer stress to the sex difference in adolescent depression. A diverse sample of 167 youth (ages 9.6 to 14.8) and their caregivers provided information at two waves, one year apart, on depression, peer stress, and puberty. Puberty, not age, interacted with sex to predict depression, both concurrently and longitudinally. Concurrently, more mature pubertal status was associated with higher levels of depression in girls but lower levels of depression in boys, and girls were significantly more depressed than boys when the adolescents were midway or more through pubertal development. Earlier pubertal timing relative to peers was associated with higher levels of depression in girls, whereas the relation was negative though nonsignificant in boys. Furthermore, among early-developing adolescents, girls were more depressed, whereas among very late-developing adolescents, boys were more depressed. Early perceived timing in girls, but late perceived timing in boys, were associated with more depression. In addition, among adolescents who rated their pubertal development to be early, girls were more depressed, and among adolescents who rated their pubertal development to be late, boys were more depressed. In addition to these linear trends, a curvilinear pattern emerged wherein perceived off-timing was associated with elevated depression and peer stress in both sexes. Furthermore, peer stress acted as both a moderator and a mediator in these relations: The associations between puberty and depression held at high but not low levels of peer stress, and structural equation modeling confirmed that peer stress partially mediated the relations between puberty and depression for girls, not boys. Finally, the relations among sex, puberty, and peer stress were specific to depression, rather than disruptive behavior. This research highlights important distinctions among the contributions of age, pubertal status, timing, and perceived timing in the sex difference in adolescent depression. More broadly, these findings contribute to our growing understanding of the interaction and transaction among physical, social, and psychological processes involved in the sex difference in adolescent depression.
Issue Date:2004
Description:143 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3153277
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2004

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