Despite recent widespread recognition of child depression as a valid and potentially debilitating clinical phenomenon, controversy remains as to the etiology, significance, and prognostic power of depression in childhood. The primary goal of the proposed research is to identify the antecedents and sequelae of depression during the early course of disorder. A particular focus is placed on understanding the rise in depression during adolescence, especially in girls. The model guiding the research posits that family dysfunction in the form of parental depression and lifetime family disruptions fosters the development of maladaptive conceptions of interpersonal relationships and ineffective coping, which create a vulnerability to depression. Stressful circumstances, including the negotiation of normative developmental transitions, are hypothesized to activate this vulnerability, leading to depression during transition periods. Girls are expected to be most sensitive to these processes due to personal characteristics as well as the experience of unique challenges during adolescence. Finally, depression is expected to induce further psychosocial disruption, which increases the likelihood of persistence or recurrence of disorder across adolescence. This proposed multivariate model will be examined using a prospective, multi-informant, multi-method design. Subgroups of depressed, externalizing, and comparison children selected from a community sample will be followed over a period of 2 1/2 years to explore the social-cognitive, affective, interpersonal, and contextual processes underlying onset and recurrence of depression during the early course of disorder. Ultimately, it is anticipated that knowledge from such research can inform the creation of empirically based intervention programs designed to treat childhood-onset depression.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
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Child Psychopathology and Treatment Review Committee (CPT)
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Nottelmann, Editha
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University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Rudolph, Karen D; Troop-Gordon, Wendy; Lambert, Sharon F et al. (2014) Long-term consequences of pubertal timing for youth depression: Identifying personal and contextual pathways of risk. Dev Psychopathol 26:1423-44
Flynn, Megan; Rudolph, Karen D (2012) The trade-offs of emotional reactivity for youths' social information processing in the context of maternal depression. Front Integr Neurosci 6:43
Llewellyn, Nicole; Rudolph, Karen D; Roisman, Glenn I (2012) Other-Sex Relationship Stress and Sex Differences in the Contribution of Puberty to Depression. J Early Adolesc 32:824-850
Conley, Colleen S; Rudolph, Karen D; Bryant, Fred B (2012) Explaining the longitudinal association between puberty and depression: sex differences in the mediating effects of peer stress. Dev Psychopathol 24:691-701
Abaied, Jamie L; Rudolph, Karen D (2011) Maternal influences on youth responses to peer stress. Dev Psychol 47:1776-85
Agoston, Anna M; Rudolph, Karen D (2011) Transactional associations between youths' responses to peer stress and depression: the moderating roles of sex and stress exposure. J Abnorm Child Psychol 39:159-71
Flynn, Megan; Rudolph, Karen D (2011) Stress generation and adolescent depression: contribution of interpersonal stress responses. J Abnorm Child Psychol 39:1187-98
Abaied, Jamie L; Rudolph, Karen D (2010) Mothers as a resource in times of stress: interactive contributions of socialization of coping and stress to youth psychopathology. J Abnorm Child Psychol 38:273-89
Flynn, Megan; Rudolph, Karen D (2010) Neuropsychological and interpersonal antecedents of youth depression. Cogn Emot 24:94-110
Rudolph, Karen D (2010) Implicit Theories of Peer Relationships. Soc Dev 19:113-129

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