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ERIC Number: EJ909251
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 74
ISSN: ISSN-0047-2891
Quality of Social Relationships and the Development of Depression in Parentally-Bereaved Youth
Schoenfelder, Erin N.; Sandler, Irwin N.; Wolchik, Sharlene; MacKinnon, David
Journal of Youth and Adolescence, v40 n1 p85-96 Jan 2011
Fear of abandonment has been found to be associated with mental health problems for youth who have experienced a parent's death. This article examines how youth's fears of abandonment following the death of a parent lead to later depressive symptoms by influencing relationships with caregivers, peers, and romantic partners. Participants were 109 youth ages 7-16 (50% male), assessed 4 times over a 6-year period. The ethnic composition of the sample was non-Hispanic Caucasian (67%), Hispanic (16%), African American (7%), Native American (3%), Asian (1%), and Other (6%). Youth's fears of abandonment by their surviving caregiver during the first year of data collection were related to their anxiety in romantic relationships 6 years later, which, in turn, was associated with depressive symptoms measured at 6 years. Youth's caregiver, peer, and romantic relationships at the 6-year follow-up were related to their concurrent depressive symptoms. The relationship between youth's attachment to their surviving caregiver and their depressive symptoms was stronger for younger participants. Implications of these findings for understanding the development of mental health problems following parental bereavement are discussed. (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A