The Dynamics of Life Stressors and Depressive Symptoms in Early Adolescence: A Test of Six Theoretical Models

Clements, M., Aber, J.L., & E. Seidman.
Child Development 79(4), 1168-1182

Structural equation modeling was used to compare 6 competing theoretically based psychosocial models of the longitudinal association between life stressors and depressive symptoms in a sample of early adolescents (N= 907; 40% Hispanic, 32% Black, and 19% White; mean age at Time 1 = 11.4 years). Only two models fit the data, both of which included paths modeling the effect of depressive symptoms on stressors recall: The mood-congruent cognitive bias model included only depressive symptoms to life stressors paths (DS→S), whereas the fully transactional model included paths representing both the DS→S and stressors to depressive symptoms (S→DS) effects. Social causation models and the stress generation model did not fit the data. Findings demonstrate the importance of accounting for mood-congruent cognitive bias in stressors–depressive symptoms investigations.

Wagner Faculty