In light of its associations with child and adolescent health and well-being, there remains a need to better understand the etiological underpinnings and developmental course of internalizing symptomatology in children and adolescents. This study leveraged intensive longitudinal data (N = 959; 49.6 % females) to test the hypothesis that internalizing symptoms in childhood may be driven more strongly by family experiences whereas internalizing symptoms in adolescence may derive more uniquely from familial loading for affective disorders (i.e., maternal depression). We evaluated the relative contributions of (a) family experiences (b) maternal depression, and (c) peer influences in testing this hypothesis. The results indicated that family predictors were more strongly correlated with childhood (relative to adolescent) internalizing symptoms. In contrast to previous findings, maternal depression also exhibited stronger associations with childhood internalizing symptoms. Although often overlooked in theories concerning potential differential origins of childhood vs. adolescent internalizing symptomatology, peer experiences explained unique variation in both childhood and adolescent internalizing problems.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was supported by NIH Grants HD025447 and HD054822 (Cathryn Booth-LaForce, PI), as well as by a cooperative agreement (U10-HD25420) with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (2006-00365). The contents of this manuscript are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development??or the Charles Steward Mott Foundation. We are grateful to the NICHD SECCYD participants for their time.
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- Internalizing symptomatology
- Peer victimization