Prepubescent boys are, if anything, more likely than girls to be depressed. During adolescence, however, a dramatic shift occurs: between the ages of 11 and 13 years, this trend in depression rates is reversed. By 15 years of age, females are approximately twice as likely as males to have experienced an episode of depression, and this gender gap persists for the next 35 to 40 years. We offer a theoretical framework that addresses the timing of this phenomenon. First, we discuss the social and hormonal mechanisms that stimulate affiliative needs for females at puberty. Next, we describe how heightened affiliative need can interact with adolescent transition difficulties to create a depressogenic diathesis as at-risk females reach puberty. This gender-linked vulnerability explains why adolescent females are more likely than males to become depressed when faced with negative life events and, particularly, life events with interpersonal consequences.
Comprehensive representation of the current theoretical model, explaining how various biological and psychosocial forces may interact to produce increased rates of depression in adolescent females.
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA Psychiatry editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 330
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.