Depression and Delinquency Covariation in an Accelerated Longitudinal Sample of Adolescents
Abbreviated Journal Title
J. Consult. Clin. Psychol.
adolescents; depression; delinquency; acting out theory; failure theory; CONDUCT PROBLEMS; ENVIRONMENTAL-INFLUENCES; MODELING APPROACH; MAJOR; DEPRESSION; SUBSTANCE-ABUSE; CHILDHOOD; DISORDERS; SYMPTOMS; COMORBIDITY; BOYS; Psychology, Clinical
Objectives: The current study tested opposing predictions stemming from the failure and acting out theories of depression-delinquency covariation. Method: Participants included a nationwide longitudinal sample of adolescents (N = 3,604) ages 12 to 17. Competing models were tested with cohort-sequential latent growth curve modeling to determine whether depressive symptoms at age 12 (baseline) predicted concurrent and age-related changes in delinquent behavior, whether the opposite pattern was apparent (delinquency predicting depression), and whether initial levels of depression predict changes in delinquency significantly better than vice versa. Results: Early depressive symptoms predicted age-related changes in delinquent behavior significantly better than early delinquency predicted changes in depressive symptoms. In addition, the impact of gender on age-related changes in delinquent symptoms was mediated by gender differences in depressive symptom changes, indicating that depressive symptoms are a particularly salient risk factor for delinquent behavior in girls. Conclusion: Early depressive symptoms represent a significant risk factor for later delinquent behavior-especially for girls-and appear to be a better predictor of later delinquency than early delinquency is of later depression. These findings provide support for the acting out theory and contradict failure theory predictions.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
"Depression and Delinquency Covariation in an Accelerated Longitudinal Sample of Adolescents" (2011). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 1488.