Teaching Behavior and Emerging Adults’ Depressive Symptoms: Effect of Perceived Observer-Model Similarity
- 2 Downloads
Depression rates increase from 2% during childhood, to 22–27% during adolescence, and 50% during college. Previous studies showed an association between teaching behavior and students’ depressive symptoms; however, no research has examined whether all schoolteachers are equally influential in this relation. Social cognitive theory states that an observer’s perceived similarity to a model increases the observer’s ability to learn from that model. Thus, we hypothesized that the association between teaching behavior and students’ depressive symptoms would be strongest with schoolteachers that students perceived as most similar to them. In a retrospective study, a sample of 330 college freshmen aged 18 to 20 (M = 18.31; 56.7% female; 76.7% identifying as White, 9.7% as Black, 4.5% Asian American, 4.5% Latino/a, 3.9% Biracial, and 0.6% not providing information regarding race) completed the Teaching Behavior Questionnaire (TBQ) for the schoolteacher from throughout their schooling whom they perceived to be either most similar or least similar to themselves, and the Center for Epidemiological Studies – Depression Scale (CES-D). As predicted, path analyses showed that instructional (p < 0.01), organizational (p < 0.01), and socio-emotional teaching behaviors (p < 0.05) of the most similar schoolteachers were significantly related to students’ depressive symptoms, while these teaching behaviors from least similar schoolteachers were not. Conversely, negative teaching behavior was associated with depressive symptoms independent of teachers’ perceived similarity (p < 0.05). Future longitudinal and experimental studies are needed to replicate our findings.
KeywordsDepression Teaching behavior Teacher-student similarity Social cognitive theory Middle adolescence Late adolescence
PP: Designed and executed the study, assisted with the data analyses, and collaborated in the writing and editing of the manuscript. RJS: analyzed the data and wrote the first drafts of the manuscript.
This study was funded by the University of Louisville College of Education and Human Development Research and Faculty Development Grant.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Abramson, L. Y., Metalsky, G. I., & Alloy, L. B. (1989). Hopelessness depression: a theory-based subtype of depression. Psychological Bulletin, 96, 358–372.Google Scholar
- American College Health Association (2013). National College Health Assessment: Spring 2013 Reference Group Executive Summary. Hanover, MD: American College Health Association.Google Scholar
- Arbuckle, J. L. (1999). AMOS user’s guide. Chicago, IL: SmallWaters.Google Scholar
- Bali, S., & Jiloha, R. C. (2008). Subsyndromal depression – a review. Delhi Psychiatry Journal, 11, 43–47.Google Scholar
- Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: a social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Beck, A. T (1976). Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. New York, NY: International University Press.Google Scholar
- Blanco, C., Okuda, M., Wright, C., Hasin, D. S., Grant, B. F., Liu, S., & Olfson, M. (2008). Mental health of college students and their non-college-attending peers: results from the national epidemiologic study on alcohol and related conditions. Archives of General Psychiatry, 65, 1429–1437. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.65.12.1429. 228-232.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Connor, C. M., Morrison, F. J., Fishman, B. J., Ponitz, C. C., Glasney, S., Underwood, P. S., …, & Schatschneider,C. (2009). The ISI Classroom Observation System: examining the literacy instruction provided to individualstudents. Educational Researcher, 38, 85–99. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X09332373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Deroma, V. M., Leach, J. B., & Leverett, J. P. (2009). The relationship between depression and college academic performance. College Student Journal, 43, 325–334.Google Scholar
- Gehlbach, H., Brinkworth, M. E., King, A. M., Hsu, L. M., McIntryre, J., & Rogers, T. (2016). Creating birds of similar feathers: leveraging similarity to improve teacher-student relationships and academic achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 108, 342–352. https://doi.org/10.1037/edu0000042.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hammen, C. (2005). Stress and depression. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 1, 293–319. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.1.102803.143938.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lee, M. J., Hasche, L. K., Choi, S., Proctor, E. K., & Morrow-Howell, N. (2013). Comparison of major depressive disorder and subthreshold depression among older adults in community long-term care. Aging & Mental Health, 17, 461–469. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2012.747079.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pianta, R. C., LaParo, K. M., & Hamre, B. K. (2008). Classroom Assessment Scoring System. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.Google Scholar
- Pittard, C., Pӧssel, P., & Lau, T. (2017). Inferential style, school teachers, and depressive symptoms in college students. International Journal of Emotional Education, 9, 20–36.Google Scholar
- Pössel, P., Rudasill, K. M., Adelson, J. L., Bjerg, A. C., Wooldridge, D. T., & Winkeljohn Black, S. (2013). Teaching behavior and well-being in students: development and concurrent validity of an instrument to measure student-reported teaching behavior. International Journal of Emotional Education, 5, 5–30.Google Scholar
- Rutter, M. (1982). Fifteen thousand hours: Secondary schools and their effects on children. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar