This research examined personal-accentuation and contextual-amplification models of pubertal timing, wherein personal and contextual risks magnify the effects of earlier pubertal maturation on youth depression. A sample of 167 youths (M age = 12.41 years, SD = 1.19) and their maternal caregivers completed semistructured interviews and questionnaires at two waves. Consistent with a personal-accentuation model, earlier pubertal maturation more strongly predicted subsequent depression in youths with prior depression, certain personality traits, and maladaptive stress responses than in youths without these personal risks. Several of these effects were specific to earlier-maturing girls. Consistent with a contextual-amplification model, earlier pubertal maturation more strongly predicted subsequent depression in youths exposed to recent maternal depression and family stress than in youths without these contextual risks. These findings identify key characteristics of youths and their family context that help to explain individual variation in depressive reactions to earlier pubertal maturation. More broadly, this research contributes to integrative models of depression that consider the interplay among personal vulnerability, contextual risk, and developmental transitions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health