The current study examined whether excessive reassurance seeking serves as a vulnerability factor to depression in a sample of high-risk youth using a multiwave longitudinal design. At Time 1, 140 children (aged 6-14) of affectively disordered parents completed measures assessing reassurance seeking and depressive symptoms. In addition, every 6 weeks during the following year, children and parents completed measures assessing depressive symptoms and the occurrence of hassles. In line with hypotheses, the results of contemporaneous analyses indicated that children with high levels of reassurance seeking reported greater elevations in depressive symptoms following elevations in either hassles or parental depressive symptoms than children with low levels. At the same time, the results of time-lagged analyses indicated that both these relationships were moderated by age with excessive reassurance seeking being associated with greater elevations in depressive symptoms following elevations in either hassles or parental depressive symptoms in older but not younger children.
- Contagious depression
- Excessive reassurance seeking
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health