22-08-2022 | Original Paper
Gender Differences in the Effects of Academic Achievement on Depressive Symptoms During Adolescence
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Child and Family Studies | Uitgave 12/2022Log in om toegang te krijgen
Using a community-based, racially/ethnically diverse sample of 521 adolescents, this longitudinal study examined the predictive reciprocal associations between academic achievement and depressive symptoms across four waves of data. Multiple-group cross-lagged panel models were used to test possible mediating and moderating effects of the parent-child relationship. The results showed that depressive symptoms predicted lower GPA scores across sixth to ninth grades. Similarly, poor GPA scores also predicted depressive symptoms, but only for girls. Despite girls scoring higher overall GPA scores than boys, they reported higher levels of depressive symptoms from seventh grade onward. Depressive symptoms were also found to negatively impact the parent-child relationship which in turn, exacerbated depressive symptoms, over and above previous levels of symptoms. However, there was no evidence that the parent-child relationship mediated or moderated the predictive association between academic achievement and depression. Overall, the current research indicates that poor academic achievement confers an increased risk of depression for girls, suggesting differential developmental significance of academic achievement for boys and girls. As positive parent-child relationship may not effectively mitigate academic stress experienced by adolescents, schools could play an important role in helping adolescents cope with academic demands while supporting their development of academic competence.