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21-07-2020 | Uitgave 10/2020

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 10/2020

Gender-Specific Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms in Chinese Children: Relations with Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction at School

Tijdschrift:
Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology > Uitgave 10/2020
Auteurs:
Mengting Zhong, E. Scott Huebner, Lili Tian
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10802-020-00674-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Abstract

This longitudinal study identified gender-specific developmental trajectories of depressive symptoms in Chinese children and their relations with basic psychological needs satisfaction at school (satisfaction of autonomy needs at school, relatedness needs at school, and competence needs at school). A total of 692 Chinese elementary school students in grades 3 and 4 (Mage = 8.96 years; SD = 0.76; 53.6% boys) comprised the sample. Assessments were conducted every 6 months on six occasions over 30 months. Growth mixture modeling (GMM) was used to explore the depressive symptom trajectories for boys and girls separately. Four trajectories were identified for girls: low (60.3%), high (12.4%), increasing (9.8%), and high-start (17.5%). Two trajectories were identified for boys: low (86.5%) and high (13.5%). After controlling for anxiety, the results showed that compared to the low trajectory of depressive symptoms, lower satisfaction of relatedness needs at school predicted the high and high-start trajectories for girls, and lower satisfaction of competence needs at school predicted the high trajectory for boys. The findings of the varying developmental patterns of depressive symptoms and their relations with basic psychological needs satisfaction at school inform strategies for monitoring depressive symptoms among children as well as effective strategies for prevention and intervention.

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