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01-04-2015 | Uitgave 3/2015

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 3/2015

It Gets Better: Future Orientation Buffers the Development of Hopelessness and Depressive Symptoms following Emotional Victimization during Early Adolescence

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 3/2015
Auteurs:
Jessica L. Hamilton, Samantha L. Connolly, Richard T. Liu, Jonathan P. Stange, Lyn Y. Abramson, Lauren B. Alloy

Abstract

Research consistently has linked hopelessness to a range of negative outcomes, including depression, during adolescence. Although interpersonal stressors such as familial and peer emotional victimization have been found to contribute to hopelessness, less research has examined whether adolescents with a greater tendency to think about and plan for the future (i.e., future orientation) are protected against the development of hopelessness, particularly in the context of negative events. Thus, the current study evaluated whether peer and familial emotional victimization predicted increases in hopelessness more strongly among adolescents with a weaker future orientation than those with a stronger orientation towards the future, and whether hopelessness in turn predicted increases in depression. In a diverse sample of 259 early adolescents (54 % female; 51 % African American; Mage = 12.86 years), both peer and familial emotional victimization predicted increases in hopelessness more strongly among adolescents with weaker future orientations than among those with stronger future orientations. Further, moderated mediation analyses revealed that hopelessness significantly mediated the relationship between emotional victimization and increases in depressive symptoms more strongly among adolescents with weaker orientations towards the future compared to those with stronger future orientations. These findings indicate that adolescents’ tendency to think about the future may impact whether emotional victimization induces hopelessness and ultimately depressive symptoms during early adolescence. Results have important implications regarding intervention and prevention of depression during the critical developmental period of adolescence.

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