Gender Differences in the Cognitive Vulnerability-Stress Model of Depression in the Transition to Adolescence
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- Mezulis, A.H., Funasaki, K.S., Charbonneau, A.M. et al. Cogn Ther Res (2010) 34: 501. doi:10.1007/s10608-009-9281-7
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This study examined whether the cognitive vulnerability-stress model of depression may contribute to our understanding of the gender difference in depression in adolescence. Specifically, we examined emergent gender differences in depressive symptoms, cognitive style, and stress in the context of exposure, cognitive scar, and stress generation models. We also examined whether gender moderated the cognitive vulnerability-stress effects on depression. Participants were 366 youth from a community sample who completed measures of depressive symptoms, stress, and negative cognitive style at ages 11, 13, and 15. Data were analyzed longitudinally using multi-level modeling and structural equation modeling. Results indicated that gender differences in depressive symptoms emerged prior to gender differences in cognitive vulnerability and stressful life events; depressive symptoms significantly mediated the emergent gender difference in cognitive style and dependent interpersonal stress. Gender also moderated several components of the cognitive vulnerability-stress model. Girls showed stronger associations between stress and depression over time, and the cognitive vulnerability-stress interaction was significant in predicting girls’ but not boys’ depression trajectories.