Depressive problems and academic performance, social well-being, and social problems in adolescents are strongly associated. However, longitudinal and bidirectional relations between the two remain unclear, as well as the role of gender. Consequently, this study focuses on the relation between depressive problems and three types of functioning in adolescents while testing gender differences. Depressive problems and functioning of 2,230 children were measured with structured questionnaires. The measurements took place biennially over 3 waves, from late childhood into adolescence (age range = 10-18 years). To examine the longitudinal relation between depression and functioning, path analyses with cross-lagged effects were conducted with structural equation modeling. Multigroup analyses were used to test for gender differences, which were only observed for academic performance. Other findings indicated substantial stability in depressive problems and functioning over time and within-wave correlations between depression and the 3 types of functioning. Poor social well-being was predicted by depressive problems but not the other way around. The relation between depressive and social problems was bidirectional, that is, they predicted each other. Finally, depressive problems and academic performance were bidirectionally related as well but only in girls.
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Objective. The progression to depression in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is not clearly understood. To clarify this relationship, we tested the following hypotheses in a population-based study: (1) children with ADHD have a higher risk of developing depression than children without ADHD; (2) the pathway from ADHD to depression is mediated (partly) through anxiety and disruptive behavior disorders; and (3) mediation through anxiety is more prevalent in girls, and mediation through disruptive behavior disorders is more prevalent in boys. Method. From October 2008 to September 2010, the Composite International Diagnostic Interview was used to assess ADHD, major depressive episodes, anxiety disorders, and disruptive behavior disorders in 1,584 participants from the TRacking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS) cohort. Cox regression was used to model the effects of ADHD, anxiety, and disruptive behaviors on depression. Risk of and pathways to depression were studied in both children with ADHD and children with subthreshold ADHD. Results. Comorbid depression was present in 36% of children with a diagnosis of ADHD, 24% of children with subthreshold ADHD, and 14% of children with no ADHD. Anxiety and disruptive behaviors mediated 32% of depression in ADHD. Pathways through anxiety and disruptive behavior disorders were independent of gender. Disruptive behavior disorder was a stronger mediator than anxiety for both genders (all P < .01). Conclusions. These findings may help forewarn of impending depression and therefore allow opportunities for interventions when comorbid anxiety and/or disruptive behavior disorders are present in a child with ADHD.
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Adolescence is marked by increases in the incidence of major depression (MDD), a disorder recognized as one of the leading causes of disability. Anhedonia and depressed mood predict both onset and chronicity of major depression (MDD), but have never been studied together longitudinally in the general adolescent population. The present study examined (1) the course and the stability of anhedonia and depressed mood and (2) their cross-sectional and longitudinal relations during adolescence. The study cohort consisted of 2,230 adolescents. Anhedonia and depressed mood were assessed with items of the YSR and ASR self-report forms at four measurement waves between ages 11 and 19. The proportion of adolescents reporting anhedonia decreased between ages 11 and 19, while the proportion of female adolescents reporting depressed mood increased. The stability of anhedonia and the cross-sectional association between anhedonia and depressed mood was larger at age 19 than at age 11. We found a mutual association between anhedonia and depressed mood without a clear temporal sequence. The presence of anhedonia at the end of adolescence might put adolescents at increased risk for MDD given the increasingly stronger stability and association with depressed mood. This suggests that it becomes more difficult to prevent MDD during late adolescence compared with early and middle adolescence.
In the study reported here, the main question we investigated was whether attention style could be a conditional adaptation. We organized participants of the TRacking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS; N = 2,230) into shifters, sustainers, and two comparison groups, depending on their performance on a shifting- and a sustained-attention task at age 11 years. Compared with sustainers, shifters reported more pre- and perinatal risk factors and more childhood stress, and they adopted a faster life-history strategy. These differences were not found between the comparison groups, who performed well or poorly on both tasks, which suggests that specialization for either sustained or shifting attention is the key to conditional adaptation. In a subsample (n = 860), we found that stress did not increase depression risk in shifters, whereas a mismatch between early and recent stress predicted depression in sustainers. Cumulative stress predicted depression in the comparison group. These results suggest that shifters retain high levels of plasticity throughout life, whereas sustainers' adapted their phenotype early in life to the expected mature environment.
Childhood adversities have been proposed to modify later stress sensitivity and risk of depressive disorder in several ways: by stress sensitization, stress amplification, and stress inoculation. Combining these models, we hypothesized that childhood adversities would increase risk of early, but not later, onsets of depression (Hypothesis 1). In those without an early onset, childhood adversities were hypothesized to predict a relatively low risk of depression in high-stress conditions (Hypothesis 2a) and a relatively high risk of depression in low-stress conditions (Hypothesis 2b), compared to no childhood adversities. These hypotheses were tested in 1,584 participants of the Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey, a prospective cohort study of adolescents. Childhood adversities were assessed retrospectively at ages 11 and 13.5, using self-reports and parent reports. Lifetime DSM-IV major depressive episodes were assessed at age 19, by means of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Stressful life events during adolescence were established using interview-based contextual ratings of personal and network events. The results provided support for all hypotheses, regardless of the informant and timeframe used to assess childhood adversities and regardless of the nature (personal vs. network, dependent vs. independent) of recent stressful events. These findings suggest that age at first onset of depression may be an effective marker to distinguish between various types of reaction patterns.
Both structural (i.e., SES, familial psychopathology, family composition) and dynamic (i.e., parental warmth and rejection) family characteristics have been associated with aggressive and depressive problem development. However, it is unclear to what extent (changes in) dynamic family characteristics have an independent effect on problem development while accounting for stable family characteristics and comorbid problem development. This issue was addressed by studying problem development in a large community sample (N = 2,230; age 10-20) of adolescents using Linear Mixed models. Paternal and maternal warmth and rejection were assessed via the Egna Minnen BetrÃ¤ffande Uppfostran for Children (EMBU-C). Aggressive and depressive problems were assessed via subscales of the Youth/Adult Self-Report. Results showed that dynamic family characteristics independently affected the development of aggressive problems. Moreover, maternal rejection in preadolescence and increases in paternal rejection were associated with aggressive problems, whereas decreases in maternal rejection were associated with decreases in depressive problems over time. Paternal and maternal warmth in preadolescence was associated with fewer depressive problems during adolescence. Moreover, increases in paternal warmth were associated with fewer depressive problems over time. Aggressive problems were a stable predictor of depressive problems over time. Finally, those who increased in depressive problems became more aggressive during adolescence, whereas those who decreased in depressive problems became also less aggressive. Besides the effect of comorbid problems, problem development is to a large extent due to dynamic family characteristics, and in particular to changes in parental rejection, which leaves much room for parenting-based interventions.