Concurrent and Short-Term Prospective Relations among Neurocognitive Functioning, Coping, and Depressive Symptoms in Youth.
The present short-term longitudinal study examined the concurrent and prospective relations among executive functioning (i.e., working memory and cognitive flexibility), coping (primary and secondary control coping), and depressive symptoms in children. Participants were 192 children between 9 and 15 years old (M age = 12.36 years, SD = 1.77) recruited from the community. Youth were individually administered neuropsychological measures of executive functioning and intelligence and completed self-report measures of executive dysfunction, coping, and depressive symptoms in small groups; the latter two measures were completed again 4 months later (Time 2 [T2]). Linear regression analyses were used to examine direct associations among executive functions, coping, and depressive symptoms, and a bootstrapping procedure was used to test indirect effects of executive functioning on depressive symptoms through coping. Significant prospective relations were found between working memory measured at Time 1 (T1) and both primary and secondary control coping measured at T2, controlling for T1 coping. T1 cognitive flexibility significantly predicted T2 secondary control coping, controlling for T1 coping. Working memory deficits significantly predicted increases in depressive symptoms 4 months later, controlling for T1 depressive symptoms. Bootstrap analyses revealed that primary and secondary control coping each partially mediated the relation between working memory and depressive symptoms; secondary control coping partially mediated the relation between cognitive flexibility and depressive symptoms. Coping may be one pathway through which deficits in executive functioning contribute to children's symptoms of depression.
Evans, LD; Kouros, CD; Samanez-Larkin, S; Garber, J
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