Wang, Zhonghao (2023). Mismatch of Educational Expectations, Unequal Friendships, and Depression Symptoms of Adolescents. Society and Mental Health.
Numerous studies have explored the links between expectations and the mental health of young people. However, they mainly focus on personal expectations and rarely consider the expectations of connected others. Using data from Waves I and II of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, this study fills this gap by investigating how ego-friends differences in educational expectations are associated with adolescents' depression symptoms. Results show that there was no significant difference in depressive levels between adolescents who had similarly high expectations like their friends and those with similarly low-expectation friends. However, when a mismatch exists, low-expectation adolescents had more depression symptoms than high-expectation ones. Teenagers who had low personal expectations and high-expectation friends reported higher depression scores than high-expectation ones. High-expectation adolescents with low-expectation friends felt less depressed than low-expectation individuals. This study advances our understanding of associations among expectations, friendship networks, and mental health.
Society and Mental Health
November 4, 2023