The role of bias in explaining the relation between social preference and depressive symptoms in middle childhood

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jessica A. Lorenzo (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Susan P. Keane

Abstract: Past research indicates that children's social preference is an important predictor of childhood depressive symptoms. Additionally, children's negative self-perceptions have been identified as a significant predictor of childhood depressive symptoms. However, few studies have examined bias in children's self-perceived social preference by comparing these self-perceptions to peer-reported social preference. This comparison yields both the degree to which a child is accurate in their self-perception, as well as the direction of these inaccuracies, which is known as perceptual bias. The current study compared self-report and peer-report of social preference to examine both positively and negatively biased self-perceptions in middle childhood. The goal was to examine the mediating role of bias in the relation between social preference and depressive symptoms in middle childhood. A series of regression analyses confirmed significant relations between social preference and negatively biased self-perceptions as predictors of children's depressive symptoms. As predicted, negatively biased self-perceptions also predicted depressive symptoms. Negatively biased self-perceptions, known as the underestimation bias, was found to mediate the relation between social preference and depressive symptoms in 5th grade for children. Implications for future research examining the role of social preference and bias in the development childhood depressive symptoms are discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Children, Childhood depressive symptoms, Social preference
Depression in children
Self-perception in children
Social skills in children

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