Interpersonal resources and vulnerabilities: the influence of parents and peers on depressive symptoms in relationally victimized adolescents




Desjardins, Tracy

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Adolescence heralds a unique period of vulnerability to depressive symptoms. The current study examined relational victimization, targeting adolescents’ interpersonal relationships, as a unique predictor of depressive symptoms in a broad age range of adolescents. Past research shows that interpersonal resources—particularly emotional support—are negatively related to depression. In this study, the moderating effects of emotional support from mothers, fathers, and peers on the association between relational victimization and depressive symptoms were investigated. As expected, high levels of maternal and peer emotional support buffered the association between relational victimization and depressive symptoms. Emotional support from fathers did not moderate this relationship. Findings also suggest that while support from peers is protective against concurrent depressive symptoms, it can be detrimental to adolescent’s mental health over time. In contrast, maternal emotional support buffers future depressive symptoms associated with past experiences of relational victimization.



Relational Victimization, Depressive Symptoms, Adolescence, Emotional Support