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23-06-2016 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 4/2017

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 4/2017

Indirect Effects of Attributional Style for Positive Events on Depressive Symptoms Through Self-Esteem During Early Adolescence

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 4/2017
Auteurs:
Sandra Yu Rueger, Rachel George

Abstract

Research on adolescent depression has overwhelmingly focused on risk factors, such as stressful negative events and cognitive vulnerabilities, but much important information can be gained by focusing on protective factors. Thus, the current study aimed to broaden understanding on adolescent depression by considering the role of two positive elements as protective factors, attributional style for positive events and self-esteem, in a model of depression. The sample included 491 middle school students (52 % female; n = 249) with an age range from 12 to 15 years (M = 13.2, SD = .70). The sample was ethnically/racially diverse, with 55 % White, 22 % Hispanic, 10 % Asian American, 3 % African American, and 10 % Biracial/Other. Correlational analyses indicated significant cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between an enhancing attributional style (internal, stable, global attributions for positive events), self-esteem and depressive symptoms. Further, prospective analyses using bootstrapping methodology demonstrated significant indirect effects of an enhancing attributional style on decreases in depressive symptoms through its effects on self-esteem. These findings highlight the importance of considering attributional style for positive events as a protective factor in the developmental course of depressive symptoms during early adolescence.

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