CitationKent, Blake Victor & Bradshaw, Matt (2020). Adolescent Context and Depressive Symptom Trajectories in a National Sample: Ages 13 to 34. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. , PMCID: PMC8673745
AbstractGroup-based trajectory analyses of depressive symptoms are often conducted with convenience samples, over limited developmental periods, or with a limited set of predictors in the adolescent context. Examinations of protective and risk factors in robust national samples are needed. Using an ecological approach, this study’s purpose is to identify key relational and contextual factors associated with trajectory groups of depressive symptoms that span ages 13 to 34. 12,248 respondents in the National Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Waves 1, 3, and 4) were analyzed with a group-based, cohort sequential design to identify trajectory classes, shapes, and adolescent (i.e., Wave 1) risk and protective factors for depressive symptom trajectories. A four-class quadratic solution was identified. Close attachment to parents was strongly associated with decreased odds of membership on elevated trajectories. No relationship with a mother or father was associated with better mental health than a poor relationship with that parent. Peer support, teacher support, and educational achievement were highly protective. Romantic relationships, increased number of sexual partners, and prayer were modestly associated with higher depressive symptom burden. Pregnancy was associated with increased burden later in life relative to the teenage years. In sum, adolescent family, school, peer, and religious contexts provide insight into several protective and risk factors for depressive symptoms that persist over time.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Author(s)Kent, Blake Victor