Main and Interactive Effects of Stress and Negative Cognitions as Predictors of Depression in Adolescence
Carter, Jocelyn Smith
This study examined the cognitive diathesis-stress model of depression in a sample of adolescents at varying risk for depression based on their mother’s depression history. Adolescents’ negative cognitions were examined as moderators of total, interpersonal, and achievement stressors in the prediction of both depressive symptoms and diagnoses. The sample comprised 240 adolescents assessed over five years beginning at age 12. Multi-level modeling was used to test the interactions among stress, cognitions, and gender in the prediction of depression; discrete-time hazard modeling was used to test predictor of depressive diagnoses. The interactions of total stress as well as interpersonal stress with negative cognitions significantly predicted changes in depressive symptom trajectories while controlling for risk. Interactions of cognitions with achievement stressor were not significant. A nonsignificant trend was found for the three-way interaction among gender, cognitions, and total stress. When modeling the onset of depressive disorders, total, interpersonal, and achievement stressors all predicted a greater likelihood of developing depression over time. No significant interactions were found for the prediction of the onset of depressive disorders.