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18-04-2020 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 9/2020

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 9/2020

Developmental changes in associations between depressive symptoms and peer relationships: a four-year follow-up of Chinese adolescents

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 9/2020
Auteurs:
Yiqun Yang, Liang Chen, Liang Zhang, Linqin Ji, Wenxin Zhang
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Abstract

Interpersonal theories have suggested that depressive symptoms influence and are influenced by peer relationships, but little is known about how depressive symptoms-peer relationships associations change with age. This study examined the longitudinal associations between both group- and dyadic-level peer relationships and depressive symptoms in a community sample of Chinese youth (n = 2179; 47.9% girls) from grades 6 to 9. Results demonstrated correlations between stable trait-like components of peer acceptance/rejection and depressive symptoms, with no dynamic state-like associations being observed. The results also suggested that conflict with friends operated as a consistent interpersonal risk for subsequent depressive symptoms across late childhood to middle adolescence. Support from friends was not significantly associated with depressive symptoms in early adolescence, but influenced and was influenced by depressive symptoms in middle adolescence. This study highlights that depressive symptoms are associated with youth’s peer social status and friendship in different ways and that the interactions between friendship and depressive symptoms get strengthened with the transition to adolescence.

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