The present study examined the role of childhood abuse and neglect and depression recurrence in moderating the generation of stressful life events in adolescent depression. Maltreatment history and stressful life events were assessed using two rigorous contextual interviews and rating systems. In a sample of 59 community depressed adolescents we found significantly higher rates of interpersonal events in the 3-month period immediately following depression episode onset versus the 3-month period immediately preceding onset in adolescents with a history of childhood maltreatment. By contrast, rates of events remained constant over a matched period in a control group of non-maltreated adolescents. Furthermore, the generation of interpersonal events only held among those on a first onset of depression. These results suggest that a history of childhood abuse and neglect exacerbates the psychosocial dysfunction associated with the onset of depression, particularly in the very first episode.