Export to your Reference Manger

Please Copy & Paste



Bookmark and Share

Childhood loneliness as a predictor of adolescent depressive symptoms: an 8-year longitudinal study

[journal article]

Qualter, Pamela; Brown, Stephen L.; Munn, Penny; Rotenberg, Ken J.

fulltextDownloadDownload full text

(255 KByte)

Citation Suggestion

Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-203010

Further Details
Abstract Childhood loneliness is characterised by children's perceived dissatisfaction with aspects of their social relationships. This 8-year prospective study investigates whether loneliness in childhood predicts depressive symptoms in adolescence, controlling for early childhood indicators of emotional problems and a sociometric measure of peer social preference. 296 children were tested in the infant years of primary school (T1 5 years of age), in the upper primary school (T2 9 years of age) and in secondary school (T3 13 years of age). At T1, children completed the loneliness assessment and sociometric interview. Their teachers completed externalisation and internalisation rating scales for each child. At T2, children completed a loneliness assessment, a measure of depressive symptoms, and the sociometric interview. At T3, children completed the depressive symptom assessment. An SEM analysis showed that depressive symptoms in early adolescence (age 13) were predicted by reports of depressive symptoms at age 8, which were themselves predicted by internalisation in the infant school (5 years). The interactive effect of loneliness at 5 and 9, indicative of prolonged loneliness in childhood, also predicted depressive symptoms at age 13. Parent and peer-related loneliness at age 5 and 9, peer acceptance variables, and duration of parent loneliness did not predict depression. Our results suggest that enduring peer-related loneliness during childhood constitutes an interpersonal stressor that predisposes children to adolescent depressive symptoms. Possible mediators are discussed.
Keywords depression
Classification Psychological Disorders, Mental Health Treatment and Prevention
Free Keywords Loneliness; Depressive symptoms; Longitudinal study; Adolescence; Transient loneliness; Enduring loneliness; Chronic loneliness; Stability of loneliness; Children
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
Page/Pages p. 493-501
Journal European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 19 (2009) 6
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00787-009-0059-y
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)