Differential exposure and reactivity to interpersonal stress predict sex differences in adolescent depression.

TitleDifferential exposure and reactivity to interpersonal stress predict sex differences in adolescent depression.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsShih, JH, Eberhart NK, Hammen CL, Brennan PA
JournalJournal of clinical child and adolescent psychology : the official journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53
Volume35
Issue1
Pagination103-15
Date Published2006 Feb
ISSN1537-4416
KeywordsAdolescent, Depressive Disorder, Major, Diagnosis, Differential, Female, Humans, Interpersonal Relations, Male, Sex Factors, Stress, Psychological
Abstract

This study tested the hypothesis that higher rates of depression in adolescent girls are explained by their greater exposure and reactivity to stress in the interpersonal domain in a large sample of 15-year-olds. Findings indicate that adolescent girls experienced higher levels of total and interpersonal episodic stress, whereas boys experienced higher levels of chronic stress (academic and close friendship domains). Higher rates of depression in girls were explained by their greater exposure to total stress, particularly interpersonal episodic stress. Adolescent girls were also more reactive (more likely to become depressed) to both total and interpersonal episodic stress. The findings suggest that girls experience higher levels of episodic stress and are more reactive to these stressors, increasing their likelihood of becoming depressed compared to boys. Results were discussed in terms of girls' greater interpersonal focus and implications for understanding sex differences in depression.

DOI10.1002/jts.20652
Alternate JournalJ Clin Child Adolesc Psychol