Undesirable life-events and depression in young adolescents

Pamela A. Meyer, Carol Z. Garrison, Kirby L. Jackson, Cheryl L. Addy, Robert E. McKeown, Jennifer L. Waller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We compared the relationship between individual undesirable life-events and comprehensive life-event factors, as well as major depression in adolescents. Students in four public suburban middle schools were screened for depressive symptomatology and life-events by a self-administered questionnaire. Seven of 21 individual events (parents' divorce, parental job loss, problems between parents, problems between the adolescent and his/her parents, failing a grade in school, school suspension, death of a close friend) and three of six life-event factors (conflict/disappointment, marital discord, maladjustment) were significantly related to depression in univariate models. A multivariate examination of the individual events was difficult to interpret, but examination of the event factors found maladjustment and conflict/disappointment significant. Analyses using the undesirable life-event factors provided a clearer picture of the relationships investigated by grouping related events into a more manageable number of independent categories. Specific combinations of life-events suggest stronger associations with adolescent depression than others. Clinicians may identify youths at risk for depression when specific combinations of undesirable life-events occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-60
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescents
  • depression
  • life-events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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