Gender differences in the interpersonal consequences of early-onset depressive symptoms

Karen D. Rudolph, Gary Ladd, Lisa Dinella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although research has identified gender differences in the interpersonal antecedents of depressive symptoms in youth, little is known about gender differences in the interpersonal consequences of depression. The goal of the present research was to examine gender differences in the influence of early-onset depressive symptoms on adolescent friendships and self-perceived peer acceptance. Third-graders (N = 382) participated in a multiwave longitudinal study through the sixth grade. Parents reported on youths' depressive symptoms. Youths reported on the quality of their perceived best friendship and their perceptions of peer acceptance. Reciprocal nominations of friendship were assessed through reports by youths and their classmates. Consistent with expectations, depressive symptoms contributed to subsequent declines in the number of reciprocal friendships and to poorer perceived friendship quality in girls but not in boys. Depressive symptoms predicted declines in subsequent perceived peer acceptance in both girls and boys. These findings contribute to theories regarding gender differences in relationships and gender-linked interpersonal processes in depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-488
Number of pages28
JournalMerrill-Palmer Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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