Structure and Stress: Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms across Adolescence and Young Adulthood.
Previous research into the social distribution of early life depression has yielded inconsistent results regarding subgroup differences in depression levels and in the etiology of these differences. Using latent curve models and data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, this study investigates gender and racial/ethnic disparities in early life depressive symptoms and the explanatory roles of stress and socioeconomic status (SES). Results show that females and minorities experience higher levels of depressive symptoms across early life compared to males and Whites. Further, childhood SES and stressful life events (SLEs) explain much of the disparity for Blacks and Hispanics. Finally, Blacks, Hispanics, and females show greater sensitivity to the effects of low childhood SES and, in the case of females, SLEs. Overall, this study provides new insight into gender and racial/ethnic differences in the course of early life depression and in the role of the stress process during this important developmental stage.
Adkins, DE; Wang, V; Elder, GH
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