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01-04-2015 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 4/2015

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 4/2015

A Test of the Vulnerability–Stress Model with Brooding and Reflection to Explain Depressive Symptoms in Adolescence

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 4/2015
Patricia Padilla Paredes, Esther Calvete Zumalde


To date, few studies have attempted to test the effect of rumination and its components (brooding and reflection) on depression from a diathesis–stress approach, which involves an interaction between stressors and rumination. The purpose of this study was to assess whether rumination moderates the predictive association between stress and depressive symptoms in adolescents. The possible moderation effect of gender on the relationships between the two rumination components and depressive symptoms over time was also analyzed. It was hypothesized that brooding, both alone and in interaction with stressors, would predict an increase in depressive symptoms over time. In contrast, no main effects or similar interactions were expected for reflection. Finally, it was expected that the relationship between depressive symptoms and brooding would be higher in girls than in boys. A longitudinal study was carried out in three waves with a 6-month interval, in which a total of 998 adolescents (45 % female), aged between 13 and 17 years, completed measures of rumination, stressors, and depressive symptoms. The results showed that initial levels of stressors, brooding, and reflection predicted average levels of depressive symptoms over time. There was no significant interaction between rumination and stressors. Finally, brooding predicted depressive symptoms more strongly in girls than in boys. As a conclusion, these findings suggest that stressors and rumination components contribute separately to the development of depressive symptoms over time, and that brooding acts as a vulnerability factor for depression more strongly in girls than in boys.

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