ERIC Number: ED308457
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Early Personality Context of Adolescent Dysthymia: A Prospective Study of Gender Differences.
Gjerde, Per F.; Block, Jack
Adolescence has been identified as a period when appreciable gender differences begin to occur in the nature and frequency of depressive symptoms. Following puberty there is a sharp increase in the frequency of depression among girls and an apparent decrease in the frequency of depression in boys. The Block and Block longitudinally-followed sample was used in this study in which subjects (N=87) at age 18, completed the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Scores on this scale were then related to psychologically comprehensive observer evaluations and self-report ratings of adolescent personality. Results showed that 18-year-old adolescents with depressive tendencies differed, as early as grade school, in their personality structure. Male dysthymic adolescents were externalizing; female dysthymic adolescents were internalizing. These gender differences continued over the next decade and into adolescence. As might be expected from relations spanning many years, and with many other influences operating in between, these prospective relations were not as strong as concurrent results. These gender-differentiated findings raise the possibility that there is a personality structure vulnerable to depression, that this vulnerability can be identified early in life, and that it differs for girls and boys. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Kansas City, MO, April 1989).