Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 89–99

Depressive Symptoms, Stress, and Support: Gendered Trajectories From Adolescence to Young Adulthood

  • Sarah O. Meadows
  • J. Scott Brown
  • Glen H. ElderJr.

DOI: 10.1007/s10964-005-9021-6

Cite this article as:
Meadows, S.O., Brown, J.S. & Elder, G.H. J Youth Adolescence (2006) 35: 89. doi:10.1007/s10964-005-9021-6

Stressful transitions in adolescence increase depressive symptoms, especially among girls. However, little is known about this risk as adolescents mature into young adulthood, especially about how parental support affects depression trajectories during this period. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, this analysis investigates the role of gender in structuring the associations among stressful life events, parental support, and depression. Females reported more depressive symptoms at the outset of the study, a rank order that persisted along declining depression trajectories into young adulthood. In addition, stress accounts for the decline in trajectories for females but not males. Support from both parents has a salubrious effect on mental health, regardless of gender, but this effect dissipates as adolescents age into adulthood.


genderstresssocial supportparentsadolescents

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah O. Meadows
    • 1
  • J. Scott Brown
    • 2
  • Glen H. ElderJr.
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Research on Child Wellbeing, Office of Population ResearchPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and Gerontology, Scripps Gerontology CenterMiami UniversityOxfordUSA
  3. 3.Department of SociologyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA