Over the course of adolescence, an increasing number of adolescents experience depression. In order to effectively target depression, identifying risk factors for depressive symptoms is pivotal. Since low levels of self-efficacy were associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms in previous studies, the current study investigated the bidirectional and prospective associations between depressive symptoms and academic, social and emotional self-efficacy from early to mid adolescence in a cross-lagged path model. The sample consisted of 1,341 adolescents (47 % girls) with a mean age of 14 years, SD = 0.56. Depressive symptoms and self-efficacy levels were assessed every 6 months over a period of 2.5 years. Depressive symptoms predicted subsequent levels of academic and emotional self-efficacy on all time points, and social self-efficacy on one time point. Self-efficacy did not predict subsequent levels of depressive symptoms. There was no evidence of sex differences in the cross-lagged associations between depressive symptoms and self-efficacy levels. Implications of the findings are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)