Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Psychopathology and social competence during the transition to adolescence: The role of family adversity and pubertal development

  • Jelena Obradović (a1) and Alison Hipwell (a2)

Abstract

This study examined developmental processes linking competence and psychopathology in an urban sample of girls during their transition to adolescence. Longitudinal associations among indices of externalizing symptoms, social competence, and internalizing symptoms were also tested within contexts of family adversity and girls’ pubertal status. Child, parent, and teacher report were employed to assess core constructs across six annual assessment waves, starting at age 9. Results revealed the significant effect of prior levels of externalizing symptoms on changes in social competence and internalizing symptoms, as well as reciprocal relations between social competence and internalizing symptoms. In addition, girl's maladaptive functioning predicted increases in family adversity exposure over time. Last, more mature pubertal status in early assessment waves was linked to an increase in internalizing symptoms; however, this association was reversed by the last assessment, when most girls had reached advance stages of puberty. The timing of these effects reveals important targets for future interventions aimed at promoting the successful adaptation of girls in adolescence.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Jelena Obradović, School of Education, Stanford University, 485 Lasuen Mall, Stanford, CA 94305-3096; E-mail: jelena.obradovic@stanford.edu.

References

Hide All
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual for mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Angold, A., Costello, E. J., & Worthman, C. M. (1998). Puberty and depression: The roles of age, pubertal status and pubertal timing. Psychological Medicine, 28, 5161.
Arnett, J. J., & Tanner, J. L. (2006). Emerging adults in America: Coming of age in the 21st century. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Barnard, K. E. (1994). Difficult Life Circumstances Scale (DLC). Seattle, WA: NCAST Publications.
Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., & Brown, G. (1996). Beck Depression Inventory II manual. San Antonio, TX: Psychological Corporation.
Benjet, C., & Hernández-Guzmán, L. (2002). A short-term longitudinal study of pubertal change, gender, and psychological well-being of Mexican early adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 31, 429442.
Birmaher, B., Khetarpal, S., Brent, D., Cully, M., Balach, L., Kaufman, J., et al. (1997). The Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED): Scale construction and psychometric characteristics. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 36, 545553.
Burt, K. B., Obradović, J., Long, J. D., & Masten, A. S. (2008). The interplay of social competence and psychopathology over 20 years: Testing transactional and cascade models. Child Development, 79, 359374.
Capaldi, D. M. (1992). Co-occurrence of conduct problems and depressive symptoms in early adolescent boys: A 2-year follow-up at Grade 8. Development and Psychopathology, 4, 125144.
Capaldi, D. M., & Stoolmiller, M. (1999). Co-occurrence of conduct problems and depressive symptoms in early adolescent boys: III. Prediction to young-adult adjustment. Development and Psychopathology, 11, 5984.
Caspi, A., Lynam, D., Moffitt, T., & Silva, P. (1993). Unraveling girls’ delinquency: Biological, dispositional and contextual contributions to adolescent misbehavior. Developmental Psychology, 29, 1930.
Chen, X., Li, D., Li, Z., Li, B., & Liu, M. (2000). Sociable and prosocial dimension of social competence in Chinese children: Common and unique contributions to social, academic, and psychological adjustment. Developmental Psychology, 36, 302314.
Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24, 385396.
Coie, J. D., Dodge, K. A., & Kupersmidt, J. B. (1990). Peer group behavior and social status. In Asher, S. & Coie, J. D. (Eds.), Peer rejection in childhood (pp. 1759). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Coie, J. D., Terry, R., Lenox, K., & Lochman, J. (1995). Childhood peer rejection and aggression as predictors of stable patterns of adolescent disorder. Development and Psychopathology, 7, 697713.
Cole, D. A., Martin, J. M., & Powers, B. (1997). A competency-based model of child depression: A longitudinal study of peer, parent, teacher, and self-evaluations. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38, 505514.
Cole, D. A., Martin, J. M., Powers, B., & Truglio, R. (1996). Modeling causal relations between academic and social competence and depression: A multitrait-multimethod longitudinal study of children. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 105, 258270.
Cole, D. A., & Maxwell, S. E. (2003). Testing mediational models with longitudinal data: Questions and tips in the use of structural equation modeling. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 112, 558577.
Conley, C. S., & Rudolph, K. D. (2009). The emerging sex difference in adolescent depression: Interacting contribution of puberty and peer stress. Development and Psychopathology, 21, 593620.
Crick, N. R., & Dodge, K. A. (1994). A review and reformulation of social information-processing mechanisms in children's social adjustment. Psychological Bulletin, 115, 74101.
Crick, N. R., & Zahn-Waxler, C. (2003). The development of psychopathology in females and males: Current progress and future challenges. Development and Psychopathology, 15, 719742.
Crockett, L. (1988). Pubertal Development Scale: Pubertal categories. Unpublished manuscript, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Human Development and Family Studies.
Dahl, R. E., & Spear, L. P. (Eds.). (2004). Adolescent brain development: Vulnerabilities and opportunities. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1021, 1469
Deater-Deckard, K. (2001). Annotation: Recent research examining the role of peer relationships in the development of psychopathology. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 42, 565579.
Dodge, K. A., & Pettit, G. S. (2003). A biopsychosocial model of the development of chronic conduct problems in adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 39, 349371.
Dishion, T. J., French, D. C., & Patterson, G. R. (1995). The development and ecology of antisocial behavior. In Cicchetti, D. & Cohen, D. J. (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology (Vol. 2, pp. 421471). New York: Wiley.
Dishion, T. J., Loeber, R., Stouthamer-Loeber, M., & Patterson, G. R. (1984). Skill deficits and male adolescent delinquency. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 12, 3754.
Dishion, T. J., & Patterson, G. R. (2006). The development and ecology of antisocial behavior in children and adolescents. In Cicchetti, D. & Cohen, D. J. (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology (Vol. 3, 2nd ed., pp. 503541). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Dorn, L. D., Susman, E. J., & Ponirakis, A. (2003). Pubertal timing and adolescent adjustment and behavior: Conclusions vary by rater. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 32, 157167.
Eisenberg, N., Sadovsky, A., Spinrad, T. L., Fabes, R. A., Losoya, S. H., Valiente, C., et al. (2005a). The relations of problem behavior status to children's negative emotionality, effortful control, and impulsivity: Concurrent relations and prediction of change. Developmental Psychology, 41, 193211.
Eisenberg, N., Zhou, Q., Spinrad, T. L., Valiente, C., Fabes, R. A., & Liew, J. (2005b). Relations among positive parenting, children's effortful control, and externalizing problems: A three-wave longitudinal study. Child Development, 76, 10551071.
Gadow, K. D., & Sprafkin, J. (1994). Child Symptom Inventories manual. Stony Brook, NY: Checkmate Plus.
Gadow, K. D., & Sprafkin, J. (1999). Revised Norms and Scoring Guide Child Symptom Inventory (4th ed.). Stony Brook, NY: Checkmate Plus.
Ge, X., Brody, G. H., Conger, R. D., & Simons, R. L. (2006). Pubertal maturation and African American children's internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 35, 531540.
Ge, X., Kim, I. J., Brody, G. H., Conger, R. D., Simons, R. L., Gibbons, F. X., et al. (2003). It's about timing and change: Pubertal transition effects on symptoms of major depression among African American youths. Developmental Psychology, 39, 430439.
Graber, J. A., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Warren, M. P. (2006). Pubertal effects on adjustment in girls: Moving from demonstrating effects to identifying pathways. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 35, 413423.
Hanish, L. D., Eisenberg, N., Fabes, R. A., Spinrad, T. L., Ryan, P., & Schmidt, S. (2004). The expression and regulation of negative emotions: Risk factors for young children's peer victimization. Development and Psychopathology, 16, 334353.
Hayward, C., Gotlib, I. J., Schraedley, P. K., & Litt, I. F. (1999). Ethnic differences in the association between pubertal status and symptoms of depression in adolescent girls. Journal of Adolescent Health, 25, 143149.
Hayward, C., Killen, J. D., Wilson, D. M., Hammer, L. D., Litt, I. F., Kraemer, H. C., et al. (1997). Psychiatric risk associated with early puberty in adolescent girls. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 36, 255262.
Hinshaw, S. P., & Lee, S. (2003). Conduct and oppositional defiant disorders. In Barkley, R. A. & Mash, E. J. (Eds.), Child psychopathology (2nd ed., pp. 144198). New York: Guilford Press.
Hipwell, A. E., Keenan, K., Kasza, K., Loeber, R., Stouthamer-Loeber, M., & Bean, T. (2008). Reciprocal influences between girls’ conduct problems and depression, and parental punishment and warmth: A six year prospective analysis. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 663677.
Hipwell, A., Loeber, R., Stouthamer-Loeber, M., Keenan, K., White, H. R., & Kroneman, L. (2002). Characteristics of girls with early onset disruptive and antisocial behaviour. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 12, 99118.
Hymel, S., Rubin, K. H., Rowden, L., & LeMare, L. (1990). Children's peer relationships: Longitudinal prediction of internalizing and externalizing problems from middle to late childhood. Child Development, 61, 20042021.
Kerr, M., Tremblay, R. E., Pagani, L., & Vitaro, F. (1997). Boys’ behavioral inhibition and the risk of later delinquency. Archives of General Psychiatry, 54, 809816.
Kiesner, J. (2002). Depressive symptoms in early adolescence: Their relations with classroom problem behavior and peer status. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 12, 463478.
Kim, J., & Cicchetti, D. (2004). A longitudinal study of child maltreatment, mother–child relationship quality and maladjustment: The role of self-esteem and social competence. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 32, 341354.
Kim, K. J., Conger, R. D., Elder, G. H., & Lorenz, F. O. (2003). Reciprocal influences between stressful life events and internalizing and externalizing problems. Child Development, 74, 127143.
Lahey, B. B., Loeber, R., Burke, J., Rathouz, P. J., & McBurnett, K. (2002). Waxing and waning in concert: Dynamic comorbidity of conduct disorder with other disruptive and emotional problems over 7 years among clinic-referred boys. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 111, 256267.
Little, S. A., & Garber, J. (2004). Interpersonal and achievement orientations and specific stressors predict depressive and aggressive symptoms. Journal of Adolescent Research, 19, 6384.
Loeber, R., Farrington, D., Stouthamer-Loeber, M., & Van Kammen, W. (1998). Antisocial behavior and mental health problems: Explanatory factors in childhood and adolescence. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Loeber, R., Green, S. M., Lahey, B. B., & Stouthamer-Loeber, M. (1989). Optimal informants on childhood disruptive behaviors. Development and Psychopathology, 1, 317337.
Loeber, R., Pardini, D., Stouthamer-Loeber, M., Hipwell, A., & Sembower, M. (2009). Are there stable factors in girls’ externalizing behaviors in middle childhood? Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, 777792.
Masten, A. S., Roisman, G. I., Long, J. D., Burt, K. B., Obradović, J., Riley, J. R., et al. (2005). Developmental cascades: Linking academic achievement and externalizing and internalizing symptoms over 20 years. Developmental Psychology, 41, 733746.
McDonald, R. P., & Ho, M.-H. R. (2002). Principles and practice in reporting structural equation analyses. Psychological Methods, 7, 6482.
Mesman, J., Bongers, I. L., & Koot, H. M. (2001). Preschool developmental pathways to preadolescent internalizing and externalizing problems. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 42, 679689.
Miller-Johnson, S., Loeber, R., Hipwell, A. E. (2009). Peer deviance, parenting and disruptive behavior among young girls. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, 139152.
Moffitt, T. E., Caspi, A., Harrington, H., & Milne, B. J. (2002). Males on the life-course-persistent and adolescence-limited antisocial pathways: Follow-up at age 26 years. Development and Psychopathology, 14, 179207.
Muthén, L., & Muthén, B. (2007). Mplus user's guide (5th ed.). Los Angeles: Author.
Nansel, T. R., Craig, W., Overpeck, M. D., Saluja, G., & Ruan, W. J. (2004). Cross-national consistency in the relationship between bullying behaviors and psychosocial adjustment. Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, 158, 730736.
Neemann, J., Hubbard, J., & Masten, A. S. (1995). The changing importance of romantic relationship involvement to competence from late childhood to late adolescence. Development and Psychopathology, 7, 727750.
Obradović, J., Burt, K. B., & Masten, A. S. (2010). Testing a dual cascade model linking competence and symptoms over 20 years from childhood to adulthood. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 39, 90102.
Obradović, J., Shaffer, A. E., & Masten, A. S. (in press). Adversity and risk in developmental psychopathology: Progress and future directions. In Mayes, L. C. & Lewis, M. (Eds.), A Developmental Environment Measurement Handbook. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Obradović, J., van Dulmen, M., Yates, T., Carlson, E., & Egeland, B. (2006). Developmental assessment of competence from early childhood to middle adolescence. Journal of Adolescence, 29, 857889.
Obeidallah, D., Brennan, R., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Earls, F. (2004). Links between pubertal timing and neighborhood contexts: Implications for girls’ violent behavior. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 43, 14601468.
Panak, W. F., & Garber, J. (1992). Role of aggression, rejection, and attributions in the prediction of depression in children. Development and Psychopathology, 4, 145165.
Patterson, G. R., & Capaldi, D. M. (1990). A comparison of models for boys’ depressed mood. In Rolf, J. E., Masten, A., Cicchetti, D., Neuchterlein, K., & Weintraub, S. (Eds.), Risk and protective factors in the development of psychopathology. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Patterson, G. R., Reid, J. B., & Dishion, T. J. (1992). A social interactional approach: Vol. 4. Antisocial boys. Eugene, OR: Castaglia.
Patterson, G. R., & Stoolmiller, M. (1991). Replication of dual failure model for boys’ depressed mood. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 59, 491498.
Petersen, A. C., Crockett, L., Richards, M., & Boxer, A. (1988). A self-report measure of pubertal status: Reliability, validity, and initial norms. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 17, 117133.
Robertson, E., Skinner, M., Love, M., Elder, G., Conger, R., Dubas, J., et al. (1992). The Pubertal Development Scale: A rural and suburban comparison. Journal of Early Adolescence, 12, 174186.
Roisman, G. I., Masten, A. S., Coatsworth, J. D., & Tellegen, A. (2004). Salient and emerging developmental tasks in transition to adulthood. Child Development, 75, 123133.
Rudolph, K. D., Hammen, C., & Burge, K. (1995). Cognitive representations of self, family, and peers in school-age children: Links with social competence and sociometric status. Child Development, 66, 13851402.
Satorra, A. (2000). Scaled and adjusted restricted tests in multi-sample analysis of moment structures. In Heijmans, R. D. H., Pollock, D. S. G., & Satorra, A. (Eds.), Innovations in multivariate statistical analysis: A festschrift for Heinz Neudecker (pp. 233247). London: Kluwer Academic.
Siegel, J. M., Yancey, A. K., Aneshensel, C. S., & Schuler, R. (1999). Body image, perceived pubertal timing, and adolescent mental health. Journal of Adolescent Health, 25, 155165.
Sontag, L. M., Graber, J. A., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Warren, M. P. (2008). Coping with social stress: Implications for psychopathology in young adolescent girls. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 11591174.
Sørlie, M., Amlund Hagen, K., & Ogden, T. (2008). Social competence and antisocial behavior: Continuity and distinctiveness across early adolescence. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 18, 121144.
Straus, M., Hamby, S., Finkelhor, D., Moore, D., & Runyan, D. (1998). Identification of child maltreatment with the parent–child conflict tactics scales: Development and psychometric data for a national sample of American parents. Child Abuse and Neglect, 22, 249270.
Tanner, J. M. (1962). Growth at adolescence (2nd ed.). Oxford: Blackwell Scientific.
Wiesner, M. (2003). A longitudinal latent variable analysis of reciprocal relations between depressive symptoms and delinquency during adolescence. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 112, 633645.
Zimmer-Gembeck, M. J., Hunter, T. A., & Pronk, R. (2009). Depression as a longitudinal outcome and antecedent of preadolescents’ peer relationships and peer-relevant cognition. Development and Psychopathology, 21, 555577.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Psychopathology and social competence during the transition to adolescence: The role of family adversity and pubertal development

  • Jelena Obradović (a1) and Alison Hipwell (a2)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.