The Relationship Between Peer Status and Depressive Symptoms in Children and Adolescents

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The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between specific symptoms of depression and particular styles of peer difficulties. Participants were 1687 students in fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and eleventh grades from a midsized Midwestern city. Based on previous studies, it was hypothesized that rejected and neglected youths would report greater depressive symptomatology than other peers. In addition, aggressive-rejected youth were predicted to report more Interpersonal Problems while submissive-rejected youths were expected to report more Anhedonia. There were no sociometric group differences on global scores of depression as measured by the Children's Depression Inventory; however, the aggressive- and submissive-rejected youths did report specific differences. Aggressive-rejected youths reported more Interpersonal Problems and feelings of Ineffectiveness, while the neglected and submissive-rejected youths reported more Anhedonia. Taken together, such differences provide support for differentiating among types of rejected students and suggest that different interventions may be necessary to address the needs of these youths.

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