Cognitive Moderators of the Longitudinal Association Between Peer Rejection and Adolescent Depressive Symptoms


This longitudinal study examined peer rejection as a predictor of adolescent depressive symptoms during the critical developmental period associated with substantial increases in the prevalence of girls' depression. In a sample of 158 adolescents aged 15–17 years, a peer nomination, sociometric assessment was conducted to examine adolescents' peer status at an initial time point, along with self-report measures of depressive symptoms, depressogenic attributions, and peer importance. Adolescents completed a second measure of depressive symptoms 17 months later. Results were consistent with integrated cognitive vulnerability-stress and cognitive dissonance models, particularly for girls. Specifically, peer rejection was a significant prospective predictor of depressive symptoms when combined with high levels of importance ascribed to peer status and high levels of adolescents' depressogenic attributional styles.

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Prinstein, M.J., Aikins, J.W. Cognitive Moderators of the Longitudinal Association Between Peer Rejection and Adolescent Depressive Symptoms. J Abnorm Child Psychol 32, 147–158 (2004).

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  • depression
  • peer relations
  • attributional style
  • cognitive dissonance