Early Adversity and Depressive Symptoms Among Early Adolescent Girls: The Mediating Role of Exposure to Recent Interpersonal Acute Stress

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Suzanne Vrshek-Schallhorn, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Early adversity confers risk for depression in part through its association with recent (i.e., proximal) acute stress. However, it remains unresolved whether: a) early adversity predicts increases in recent acute stress over time; b) all – or only certain types – of recent events mediate the relationship between early adversity and depression; and c) early adversity places individuals at greater risk for depression via greater exposure to independent (i.e., fateful) interpersonal events or via greater generation of dependent (i.e., partially self-initiated) interpersonal events (i.e., stress generation) or both. These questions were examined in a 3-wave longitudinal study of early adolescent girls (N = 125; M = 12.35 years [SD = .77]) with no history of diagnosable depression using contextual life stress and diagnostic interviews. Path analyses indicated that increases in past-year acute interpersonal, but not non-interpersonal, stress mediated the link between early adversity and depressive symptoms. The mediating role of interpersonal events was limited to independent ones, suggesting increases in interpersonal event exposure, not interpersonal stress generation, acted as a mediator. Finally, findings support prior evidence that early adversity may not directly predict future depressive symptoms. Implications for understanding the role of recent stress in the association between early adversity and adolescent depression are discussed.

Additional Information

Development & Psychopathology (2021)
Language: English
Date: 2021
adolescents, depression, early adversity, interpersonal stress, stressful life events

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