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01-04-2015 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 4/2015

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 4/2015

Rumination and Overgeneral Autobiographical Memory in Adolescents: An Integration of Cognitive Vulnerabilities to Depression

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 4/2015
Auteurs:
Elissa J. Hamlat, Samantha L. Connolly, Jessica L. Hamilton, Jonathan P. Stange, Lyn Y. Abramson, Lauren B. Alloy

Abstract

During adolescence, rates of depression dramatically increase and girls become twice as likely as boys to develop depression. Research suggests that overgeneral autobiographical memory and rumination are vulnerability factors for depressive symptoms in adolescence that may be triggered by stressful life events. The current longitudinal study included 160 early adolescents (Mage = 12.44 years, 60.0 % African American, 40.0 % Caucasian, and 56.2 % female). At baseline, adolescents completed measures of current depressive symptoms, rumination, and specificity of autobiographical memories. Approximately 9 months later, the adolescents completed measures of current depressive symptoms and stressful life events that had occurred between baseline and follow-up. Analyses indicated that girls with more overgeneral autobiographical memories in combination with higher levels of rumination were most vulnerable to experiencing increases in depressive symptoms following stressful life events. Additionally, retrieving more specific autobiographical memories appeared to buffer against the impact of negative life events on depressive symptoms among both boys and girls. Memory specificity may play a protective role in depression risk, suggesting that memory specificity training interventions may prove beneficial for adolescents.

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