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Depressive symptoms from kindergarten to early school age: Longitudinal associations with social skills deficits and peer victimization


Perren, S; Alsaker, F (2009). Depressive symptoms from kindergarten to early school age: Longitudinal associations with social skills deficits and peer victimization. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 3:28.

Abstract

Background: Depressive symptoms in children are associated with social skills deficits and problems with peers. We propose a model which suggests different mechanisms for the impact of deficits in self-oriented social skills (assertiveness and social participation) and other-oriented social skills (pro-social, cooperative and non-aggressive behaviors) on children's depressive symptoms. We hypothesized that deficits in self-oriented social skills have a direct impact on children's depressive symptoms because these children have non-rewarding interactions with peers, whereas the impact of deficits in other-oriented social skills on depressive symptoms is mediated through negative reactions from peers such as peer victimization.
Method: 378 kindergarten children (163 girls) participated at two assessments (Age at T1: M = 5.8, T2: M = 7.4). Teachers completed questionnaires on children's social skills at T1. Teacher reports on peer victimization and depressive symptoms were assessed at both assessment points.
Results: Our study partially confirmed the suggested conceptual model. Deficits in self-oriented social skills significantly predicted depressive symptoms, whereas deficits in other-oriented social skills were more strongly associated with peer victimization. Longitudinal associations between other-oriented social skills and depressive symptoms were mediated through peer victimization.
Conclusion: The study emphasizes the role of deficits in self-oriented social skills and peer
victimization for the development of internalizing disorders.

Abstract

Background: Depressive symptoms in children are associated with social skills deficits and problems with peers. We propose a model which suggests different mechanisms for the impact of deficits in self-oriented social skills (assertiveness and social participation) and other-oriented social skills (pro-social, cooperative and non-aggressive behaviors) on children's depressive symptoms. We hypothesized that deficits in self-oriented social skills have a direct impact on children's depressive symptoms because these children have non-rewarding interactions with peers, whereas the impact of deficits in other-oriented social skills on depressive symptoms is mediated through negative reactions from peers such as peer victimization.
Method: 378 kindergarten children (163 girls) participated at two assessments (Age at T1: M = 5.8, T2: M = 7.4). Teachers completed questionnaires on children's social skills at T1. Teacher reports on peer victimization and depressive symptoms were assessed at both assessment points.
Results: Our study partially confirmed the suggested conceptual model. Deficits in self-oriented social skills significantly predicted depressive symptoms, whereas deficits in other-oriented social skills were more strongly associated with peer victimization. Longitudinal associations between other-oriented social skills and depressive symptoms were mediated through peer victimization.
Conclusion: The study emphasizes the role of deficits in self-oriented social skills and peer
victimization for the development of internalizing disorders.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Language:English
Date:21 September 2009
Deposited On:18 Feb 2010 12:20
Last Modified:06 Dec 2017 22:31
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1753-2000
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/1753-2000-3-28
PubMed ID:19772574

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