, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 61-78

Stability in Depressed Mood in Adolescence: Results from a 6-Year Longitudinal Panel Study

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


A 6-year longitudinal panel study investigated the absolute and relative stability in depressed mood throughout adolescence by reporting data from a sample of 538 adolescents between 13 and 19 years of age. Results revealed the following. (1) Girls had on average higher depressed mood scores than boys at all ages. (2) Among boys there were no substantial changes in depressed mood mean scores, while among girls there was a slight tendency of a curvilinear trend, with a peak level reached in midadolescence. (3) There was a tendency for adolescents to retain their relative level in depressed mood, most pronounced for a period of 4 years, from age 15 to age 19 years. (4) Depressed mood was most stable in a subgroup of adolescents who had high initial depressed mood scores. (5) By applying structural equation modeling, it was shown that the stable (“trait”) component of depressed mood increased in importance with increasing age, while the temporal (“state”) component decreased with increased age.