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01-10-2013 | Uitgave 7/2013

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 7/2013

Cognitive Vulnerabilities as Predictors of Stress Generation in Early Adolescence: Pathway to Depressive Symptoms

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 7/2013
Auteurs:
Jessica L. Hamilton, Jonathan P. Stange, Benjamin G. Shapero, Samantha L. Connolly, Lyn Y. Abramson, Lauren B. Alloy

Abstract

Although individuals with depression have been found to experience a higher rate of stress in their lives, it remains unclear to what extent other personal characteristics may contribute to stress generation. The current study extended past research by examining the effects of two theoretically and empirically supported cognitive vulnerabilities to depression (negative cognitive style and rumination) as predictors of dependent interpersonal and achievement events, independent events, and relational peer victimization. In a diverse sample of 301 early adolescents (56 % female; Mage = 12.82 years), we found that negative cognitive style prospectively predicted the experience of dependent interpersonal stress and relational victimization, and that rumination did not predict stress in any of the domains. Furthermore, the occurrence of intervening stress mediated the associations between negative cognitive style and subsequent depressive symptoms. Additionally, whereas negative cognitive style predicted relational victimization among both boys and girls, girls were particularly vulnerable to developing depressive symptoms following the occurrence of relational victimization. Thus, a negative cognitive style may contribute to the occurrence of stressful events, which in turn increases depressive symptoms. Girls may be particularly reactive to relational victimization, representing one pathway through which sex differences in depression may emerge.

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