Catalog Home Page

Gender differences in adolescent depression: Differential female susceptibility to stressors affecting family functioning

Lewis, A.J., Kremer, P., Douglas, K., Toumborou, J.W., Hameed, M.A., Patton, G.C. and Williams, J. (2015) Gender differences in adolescent depression: Differential female susceptibility to stressors affecting family functioning. Australian Journal of Psychology, 67 (3). pp. 131-139.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajpy.12086
*Subscription may be required

Abstract

Objective
The aim of this study was to examine associations between family-based stressors and depressive symptoms in adolescents.

Method
Participants were 10–14 year olds who participated in a large Australian population study (n = 6,552). Depressive symptoms and pubertal development were assessed using the self-report Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire and the Pubertal Development Scale. Three indicators of stress exposure were examined—low emotional closeness to parents, residential and school transitions, and family conflict. The effect of gender, stress exposure and the interaction of gender and stress exposure on depressive symptoms was tested using multivariate logistic regression.

Results
High family conflict, residential instability and low emotional closeness with parents were independently associated with adolescent depressive symptoms. There was a significant gender by emotional closeness interaction; females reporting low emotional closeness to their parents were 2.3 times more likely to report high depressive symptoms than females reporting high emotional connections with parents.

Conclusions
Female adolescents may be more susceptible to particular types of stresses and particularly the quality of the parent-child relationship.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Copyright: © 2015 The Australian Psychological Society
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/30693
Item Control Page Item Control Page