Depression as a longitudinal outcome and antecedent of preadolescents' peer relationships and peer-relevant cognition

Melanie J. Zimmer-Gembeck*, Tracey A. Hunter, Allison M. Waters, Rhiarne Pronk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using longitudinal data and structural modeling, we investigated bidirectional associations among preadolescents' peer relationships, peer-relevant cognition, and depressive symptoms. Depression was expected to be an outcome and precursor of peer-relevant cognition, and cognition was expected to be an outcome and precursor of being more or less liked by classmates (peer likeability). We also examined whether cognition mediated the association between peer likeability and depression. Participants were 308 students (mean age = 11.0, SD = 0.9) who participated twice during a school year. A third assessment was completed with Grade 5 to 6 students 1 year after the second assessment. The model with bidirectional paths had a good fit to the data, but the most parsimonious model was an "effects" model showing that preadolescents with more depressive symptoms had less positive peer-relevant cognition at later assessments, and that those with more positive peer-relevant cognition were more liked by their peers over time. There were no age differences, some gender differences, and no support for cognition as a moderator of the association between depression and peer likeability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-577
Number of pages23
JournalDevelopment and Psychopathology
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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