Send to

Choose Destination
Psychol Bull. 2001 Nov;127(6):773-96.

Development of gender differences in depression: an elaborated cognitive vulnerability-transactional stress theory.

Author information

Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, 60607, USA.


Descriptive epidemiological studies are reviewed, showing that the female preponderance in depression begins to emerge around age 13. A developmentally sensitive, elaborated cognitive vulnerability-transactional stress model of depression is proposed to explain the "big fact" of the emergence of the gender difference in depression. The elaborated causal chain posits that negative events contribute to initial elevations of general negative affect. Generic cognitive vulnerability factors then moderate the likelihood that the initial negative affect will progress to full-blown depression. Increases in depression can lead transactionally to more self-generated dependent negative life events and thus begin the causal chain again. Evidence is reviewed providing preliminary support for the model as an explanation for the development of the gender difference in depression during adolescence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Psychological Association
Loading ...
Support Center