Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 155–166 | Cite as

The Relationship Between Self-Complexity and Depressive Symptoms in Third and Seventh Grade Children: A Short-Term Longitudinal Study

  • John R. Z. Abela
  • Marie-Hélène Véronneau-McArdle


The goal of this study was to test the diathesis–stress component of Linville's and Morgan and Janoff-Bulman's models of the relationship between self-complexity and depressive symptoms in a sample of third and seventh grade children (P. W. Linville, 1985, 1987; H. J. Morgan & Janoff-Bulman, 1994). The procedure involved an initial assessment of self-complexity and depressive symptoms. The procedure also involved a follow-up assessment, 10 weeks later, in which depressive symptoms and the occurrence of negative events were assessed. Contrary to hypotheses, neither high levels of total nor positive self-complexity served as a buffer against the onset of depressive symptoms following the occurrence of negative events. In line with hypotheses, however, high levels of negative self-complexity interacted with the occurrence of negative events to predict increases in depressive symptoms in seventh but not third grade children.

self-complexity depression developmental psychopathology diathesis–stress theory children 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • John R. Z. Abela
    • 1
  • Marie-Hélène Véronneau-McArdle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMcGill University, Stewart Biological Sciences BuildingMontrealCanada

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