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You Don't Bring Me Anything but Down: Adolescent Romance and Depression

Kara Joyner and J. Richard Udry
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 41, No. 4 (Dec., 2000), pp. 369-391
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2676292
Page Count: 23
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You Don't Bring Me Anything but Down: Adolescent Romance and Depression
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Abstract

What accounts for the sex difference in depression that emerges during the period of adolescence? We propose that females become more depressed than males in adolescence partly as a consequence of their involvement in romantic relationships. Using two waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 8,181), a study which began interviewing respondents in 1994, we compare change in levels of depression for adolescents with and without romantic involvement between interviews. Our results suggest that males and females who become romantically involved between interviews experience a larger increase in depression than their counterparts who do not; however, females experience a larger increase in depression than males in response to romantic involvement. Our results suggest that females' greater vulnerability to romantic involvement explains a large part of the emerging sex difference in depression during adolescence.

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