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01-09-2008 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 8/2008

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 8/2008

Pubertal Timing and Depressive Symptoms in Early Adolescents: The Roles of Romantic Competence and Romantic Experiences

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 8/2008
Auteurs:
Catherine B. Stroud, Joanne Davila

Abstract

In spite of the large literature supporting the link between early pubertal timing and depression in adolescent girls, there are some exceptions. This suggests that there may be factors that interact with pubertal timing, increasing risk for depression in some girls, but not others. This study examined two such factors, romantic competence and romantic experiences, and their role in the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between pubertal timing and depressive symptoms among 83 early adolescent females (89% Caucasian). For on-time maturing girls (but not for early- or late-), lower levels of competence were associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms concurrently, but not longitudinally. In addition, for on-time maturing girls, more romantic experiences were associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms both concurrently and longitudinally. The discussion focused on the need for greater conceptual and empirical clarity regarding the pubertal timing-depression association and its potential moderators.

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