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Adolescence. 2006 Fall;41(163):409-15.

The roles of sex, gender, and coping in adolescent depression.

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Department of Psychology, St. John's University Jamaica, New York 11439, USA.


This study investigated the roles of coping and masculinity in higher rates of depressive symptoms among adolescent girls, as compared to boys. A model was designed and tested through path analysis, which involved the variables of sex, gender, problem-focused coping, rumination, and distraction. The Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale and the Bem Sex Role Inventory, as well as a measure of coping with general stressors was completed by 246 adolescents. Results showed that adolescent girls were more depressed than boys, and that girls used more emotion-focused and ruminative coping than did boys. Greater degrees of ruminative coping were related to high levels of depressive symptoms. Problem-focused and distractive coping were positively correlated with masculinity and negatively associated with depression. Surprisingly, girls were more likely to use problem-focused coping. Problem-focused and distractive coping were found to mediate the negative relationship between masculinity and depression.

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