Self-concept, Social Skills, and Resilience as Moderators of the Relationship Between Stress and Childhood Depression
The goal of this study is to explore the relationship between students’ self-reported stress and teacher-informed depression, and to determine whether students’ resilience, self-concept, and social skills moderate this relationship. The sample included 481 participants aged 7–10 years, with a total of 252 boys (52.4%) and 229 girls (47.6%). The participants were selected from schools in the Basque country, 59.5% from public schools (n = 286) and 40.5% from private/subsidized schools (n = 195). To measure the variables under study, we requested the teachers to complete a questionnaire on depressive symptomatology for each of their students (CDS-teacher), and the students completed another four assessment tools to evaluate their levels of stress (IECI), their self-concept (CAG), social skills (SSiS), and resilience (RSCA). We found a positive correlation between depression and school stress and a negative one between depression and intellectual self-concept, sense of control, social skills (cooperation and responsibility), and variables that make up resilience (optimism, adaptability, trust, support, and tolerance). We found that self-concept, social skills, and resilience all moderated the relationship between stress and childhood depression. The amount of variance explained in the moderation models obtained ranged from 18 to 76%. The results obtained may be useful for the design of prevention and intervention programs for childhood depression, including strengthening children’s self-concept, social skills, and resilience as protective factors against depression.
KeywordsChildhood depression Stress Moderation Self-concept Social skills Resilience
This study was funded by Alicia Koplowitz Foundation, with Grant No. FP15/62. The Alicia Koplowitz Foundation had no role in the study design, collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication.
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 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Anyan, F., Worsley, L., & Hjemdal, O. (2017). Anxiety symptoms mediate the relationship between exposure to stressful negative life events and depressive symptoms: A conditional process modelling of the protective effects of resilience. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 29, 41–48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.2017.04.019.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Beck, A. T. (1967). Depression: Causes and treatment. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
- Bernaras, E., Jaureguizar, J., Soroa, M., Ibabe, I., & de las Cuevas, C. (2013). Evaluación de la sintomatología depresiva en el contexto escolar y variables asociadas [Evaluation of depressive symptomatology and the related variables in the school context]. Anales de Psicología, 29, 131–140. https://doi.org/10.6018/analesps.29.1.137831.Google Scholar
- Bracken, B. A. (Ed.). (1996). Handbook of self-concept: Development, social and clinical considerations. New York, NY: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Browne, M. W., & Cudeck, R. (1993). Alternative ways of assessing fit. In K. A. Bollen (Ed.), Testing structural equation models (pp. 136–162). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Chmitorz, A., Kunzler, A., Helmreich, I., Tüscher, O., Kalisch, R., Kubiak, T., et al. (2018). Intervention studies to foster resilience—A systematic review and proposal for resilience framework in future intervention studies. Clinical Psychology Review, 59, 78–100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2017.11.002.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Ding, H., Han, J., Zhang, M., Wang, K., Gong, J., & Yang, S. (2017). Moderating and mediating effects of resilience between childhood trauma and depressive symptoms in Chinese children. Journal of Affective Disorders, 211, 130–135. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2016.12.056.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Fergus, S., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2005). Adolescent resilience: a framework for understanding healthy development in the face of risk. Annual Review of Public Health, 26, 399–419. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.publhealth.26.021304.144357.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- García, B. (2001). CAG: Cuestionario de Autoconcepto: Manual [Self-Concept Questionnaire: Hanbook]. Madrid: EOS.Google Scholar
- Gresham, F. M., & Elliott, S. N. (2008). Social skills improvement system rating scales manual. Minneapolis, MN: NCS Pearson.Google 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.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hawkins, J. D., Kosterman, R., Catalano, R. F., Hill, K. G., & Abbott, R. D. (2008). Effects of social development intervention in childhood 15 years later. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 162, 1133–1141. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpedi.162.12.1133.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Hjemdal, O., Vogel, P. A., Solem, S., Hagen, K., & Stiles, T. C. (2011). The relationship between resilience and levels of anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in adolescents. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 18, 314–321. https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.719.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Lang, M., & Tisher M. (2004). Children’s Depression Scale, third research edition. Camberbell, Victoria, Australia: Australian Council for Educational Research. (update of the test of M. Lang and M. Tisher (1983). Children’s Depression Scale). Google Scholar
- Lewinsohn, P. M. (1974). A behavioral approach to depression. In R. J. Friedman & M. M. Katz (Eds.), The psychology of depression: Contemporary theory and research (pp. 157–185). Washington, DC: Winston-Wiley.Google Scholar
- Lewinsohn, P. M. (1975). The behavioral study and treatment of depression. In M. Hersen, R. M. Eisler, & P. M. Miller (Eds.), Progress in behavior modification (Vol. 1, pp. 19–64). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Lewinsohn, P. M., Hoberman, H., Teri, L., & Hautzinger, M. (1985). An integrative theory of depression. In S. Reiss & R. R. Bootzin (Eds.), Theoretical issues in behavior therapy (pp. 331–359). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Machimbarrena, J. M. (2017). Bullying & Cyberbullying: prevalence in the last stage of primary school and connections with personal and family variables. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. Faculty of Psychology, University of the Basque Country, Spain.Google Scholar
- Masten, A. S. (1994). Resilience in individual development: Successful adaptation despite risk and adversity. In M. C. Wang & E. W. Gordon (Eds.), Educational resilience in inner-city America: Challenges and prospects (pp. 3–25). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Nilsen, W., Karevold, E., Røysamb, E., Gustavson, K., & Mathiesen, K. S. (2013). Social skills and depressive symptoms across adolescence: Social support as a mediator in girls versus boys. Journal of Adolescence, 36, 11–20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2012.08.005.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Prince-Embury, S. (2008). Resiliency scales for children & adolescents (RSCA). San Antonio: Pearson.Google Scholar
- Sancassiani, F., Pintus, E., Holte, A., Paulus, P., Moro, M. F., Cossu, G., et al. (2015). Enhancing the emotional and social skills of the youth to promote their wellbeing and positive development: A systematic review of universal school-based randomized controlled trials. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, 11(Suppl. 1: M2), 21–40. https://doi.org/10.2174/1745017901511010021.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Segrin, C., & Flora, J. (2000). Poor social skills are a vulnerability factor in the development of psychosocial problems. Human Communication Research, 26, 489–514. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2958.2000.tb00766.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Trianes, M. V., Blanca, M. J., Fernández-Baena, F. J., Escobar, M., & Maldonado, E. F. (2011). IECI. Inventario de estrés cotidiano infantil [Inventory of daily stress in children]. Madrid: TEA.Google Scholar
- van Tuijl, L. A., de Jong, P. J., Sportel, B., de Hullu, E., & Nauta, M. H. (2014). Implicit and explicit self-esteem and their reciprocal relationship with symptoms of depression and social anxiety: A longitudinal study in adolescents. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 45, 113–121. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbtep.2013.09.007.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Whalen, D. J., Luby, J. L., Tilman, R., Mike, A., Barch, D., & Belden, A. C. (2016). Latent class profiles of depressive symptoms from early to middle childhood: Predictors, outcomes, and gender effects. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57, 794–804. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.12518.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Wheaton, B., Muthén, B., Alwil, D., & Summers, G. (1977). Assessing reliability and stability in panel models. In D. R. Heise (Ed.), Sociological methodology (pp. 84–136). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- WHO. World Health Organization (2017). Depression tops list of causes of ill health. Downloaded from http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2017/es/.
- Wingo, A. P., Wrenn, G., Pelletier, T., Gutman, A. R., Bradley, B., & Ressler, K. J. (2010). Moderating effects of resilience on depression in individuals with a history of childhood abuse or trauma exposure. Journal of Affective Disorders, 126, 411–414. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2010.04.009.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar