Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 197–212 | Cite as

Correlates of Childhood vs. Adolescence Internalizing Symptomatology from Infancy to Young Adulthood

  • John D. Haltigan
  • Glenn I. Roisman
  • Elizabeth Cauffman
  • Cathryn Booth-LaForce
Empirical Research


In light of its associations with child and adolescent health and well-being, there remains a need to better understand the etiological underpinnings and developmental course of internalizing symptomatology in children and adolescents. This study leveraged intensive longitudinal data (N = 959; 49.6 % females) to test the hypothesis that internalizing symptoms in childhood may be driven more strongly by family experiences whereas internalizing symptoms in adolescence may derive more uniquely from familial loading for affective disorders (i.e., maternal depression). We evaluated the relative contributions of (a) family experiences (b) maternal depression, and (c) peer influences in testing this hypothesis. The results indicated that family predictors were more strongly correlated with childhood (relative to adolescent) internalizing symptoms. In contrast to previous findings, maternal depression also exhibited stronger associations with childhood internalizing symptoms. Although often overlooked in theories concerning potential differential origins of childhood vs. adolescent internalizing symptomatology, peer experiences explained unique variation in both childhood and adolescent internalizing problems.


Environment Internalizing symptomatology Peer victimization Psychopathology Puberty 



Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to John D. Haltigan Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 6225, 6th Floor, 80 Workman Way, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6J 1H4.

Authors’ Contributions

JDH contributed to the conceptualization of the study, performed the statistical analyses, and drafted the manuscript; GIR contributed to the conceptualization of the study, interpretation of the data, and drafting of the manuscript; EC and CBLF also assisted in interpretation of the analyses and in the drafting of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


This project was supported by NIH Grants HD025447 and HD054822 (Cathryn Booth-LaForce, PI), as well as by a cooperative agreement (U10-HD25420) with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (2006-00365). The contents of this manuscript are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development or the Charles Steward Mott Foundation. We are grateful to the NICHD SECCYD participants for their time.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical Approval

Approved by IRB review at the University of California, Irvine, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Washington.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

10964_2016_578_MOESM1_ESM.docx (47 kb)
Supplementary Information


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • John D. Haltigan
    • 1
  • Glenn I. Roisman
    • 2
  • Elizabeth Cauffman
    • 3
  • Cathryn Booth-LaForce
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  2. 2.University of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.University of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  4. 4.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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