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Gender Differences in Symptoms of Depression Among Adolescents

William R. Avison and Donna D. McAlpine
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 33, No. 2 (Jun., 1992), pp. 77-96
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2137248
Page Count: 20
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Gender Differences in Symptoms of Depression Among Adolescents
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Abstract

In this paper, we examine sources of gender differences in depressive symptoms among adolescents. Using data collected from a self-administered survey of 306 high school students, we examine differences in the impact of life events, psychosocial resources, and parent-child relationships on levels of psychological distress. Our results confirm a substantial gender difference in level of psychological distress. Moreover, analyses indicate that this gender difference may be due largely to higher levels of self-esteem among males and a tendency for adolescents to perceive their fathers to be overprotective. There is, however, also evidence that other psychosocial resources and parent-child relationships are implicated in this gender difference. We also present analyses to support our contention that parent-child relationships have important effects on the development of psychosocial resources of adolescents that, in turn, influence levels of depressive symptoms.

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