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Role of aggression, rejection, and attributions in the prediction of depression in children

  • William F. Panak (a1) and Judy Garber (a2)


Concurrent and predictive relations among aggression, peer rejection, and self-reported depressive symptoms were examined in 521 third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade children at three time points over 1 year. Increases in aggression were significantly associated with increases in depression, and this relation was mediated, in part, through increases in peer rejection. The relation between peer-reported rejection and depression was mediated by perceived rejection. Finally, we found support for the cognitive diathesis-stress model of depression in children. Controlling for initial levels of depression and peer rejection, the interaction between stress (increases in peer rejection) and a depressogenic attributional style contributed significantly to the prediction of self-reported depressive symptoms 1 year later.


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Send reprint requests to: William Panak or Judy Garber, Box 512 Peabody, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37203.


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