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25-04-2015 | Uitgave 8/2015

Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology 8/2015

Interpersonal Risk Profiles for Youth Depression: A Person-Centered, Multi-Wave, Longitudinal Study

Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology > Uitgave 8/2015
Joseph R. Cohen, Carolyn N. Spiro, Jami F. Young, Brandon E. Gibb, Benjamin L. Hankin, John R. Z. Abela


Independent lines of research illustrate the benefits of social support and the negative consequences of conflict and emotional neglect across family and peer contexts with regard to depression. However, few studies have simultaneously examined negative and positive interactions across relationships. We sought to address this gap in the literature by utilizing a person-centered approach to a) understand empirical, interpersonal profiles in youth and b) understand how these profiles confer risk for prospective depression. At baseline, 678 youth (380 females; 298 males) 3rd (N = 208), 6th (N = 245), and 9th graders (N = 225) completed self-report measures for self-perceived negative/positive relationships across family and peers, anxiety symptoms, and depressive symptoms in a laboratory setting. Next, youth were called every 3 months for 18 months and completed self-report depressive and anxiety symptom forms. Two-step cluster analyses suggested that children and adolescents fell into one of three interpersonal clusters, labeled: Support, Conflict, and Neglect. Our analyses supported a convergence model in which the quality of relationship was consistent across peers and family. Furthermore, mixed-level modeling (MLM) findings demonstrated that youth in the Conflict cluster were at increased risk for prospective depressive symptoms, while the Supported and Neglected profiles demonstrated similar symptom levels. Findings were unique to depressive symptoms and consistent across sex and age. Conflict seemed to uniquely confer risk for depression as findings concerning anxiety were not significant. These findings influence our interpersonal conceptualization of depression as well as clinical implications for how to assess and treat depression in youth.

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