Factors contributing to gender differences in depressive symptoms: A test of three developmental models

Inge Seiffge-Krenke, Mark Stemmler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


In a longitudinal study on 115 early adolescents, the impact of major events, relationship stressors, and coping style in interaction with biological changes on depressive outcome in late adolescence were explored. Three developmental models proposed by Nolen-Hoeksema and Girgus (1994, Psychol. Bull. 115: 424-433), which attempt to explain the emergence of gender differences in adolescent depressive symptoms, were tested. Multiple regression analyses conducted to test Model 1 identified two etiological factors associated with gender differences of depression, stress in the adolescent-mother relationship and a more negative body image. Tests of Model 2 revealed etiological factors which correlated with depression in adolescent girls but not adolescent boys. The correlational patterns of avoidant coping and body image emerged as relevant factors for Model 2. Finally, tests of Model 3 searched for factors which were more likely to be observed in adolescent girls than boys and which would put girls at risk should they interact with a third etiological factor. Early maturational timing emerged as a factor for Model 3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-417
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of youth and adolescence
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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