The Role of Parent, Teacher, and Peer Events in Maintaining Depressive Symptoms during Early Adolescence
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Negative interpersonal events have been consistently identified as both antecedents and sequalae of adolescent depressive symptoms. However, little is known about the relative contributions of specific domains of interpersonal events (parents, peers or teachers) to the maintenance of depressive symptoms during early adolescence or whether a lack of positive interpersonal interactions plays a direct role in maintaining depressive symptoms. Further, few studies have examined whether positive interpersonal events moderate associations between negative events and adolescents’ depressive symptoms. This study combined stress generation and exposure models to evaluate the contribution of daily events to the maintenance of depressive symptoms in a sample of 132 adolescents (53 % female) followed from ages 13 to 15. Daily phone diaries collected at age 14 assessed adolescents’ negative and positive interactions with parents, teachers, and peers in a sample of adolescents from economically disadvantaged families. Negative peer events uniquely accounted for the maintenance of depressive symptoms over the 2 years period. Results did not differ by gender; however, positive parent events buffered the effects of negative parent events for females but not for males. Findings highlight the significance of peer relationships during a period of vulnerability for depressive symptoms.