Understanding Sex Differences in Depressive Symptomatology Among Malaysian Adolescents
Depressive symptomatology is among the major psychological problems experienced by adolescents. Sex differences in the occurrence of depressive symptoms have likewise been extensively reported in literature. However, a great majority of related research have primarily been carried out in the Western context. Hence, we conducted a study to identify the prevalence of depressive symptoms among Malaysian adolescents, and to determine its relationship with certain risk factors as well as the potential moderating role of sex. The sample comprised 964 adolescents from 20 secondary schools across Malaysia. Using logistic regression, results demonstrated that stressful life events and maternal verbal aggression significantly predicted symptoms of depression. In the moderation tests, sex significantly interacted with stressful life events and parental verbal aggression in predicting depressive symptoms. Hence, there is evidence to suggest that the depressogenic impact of stressful life events and parental verbal aggression on depressive symptomatology differs between male and female adolescents.
Ahmad, N., Cheong, S. M., Ibrahim, N., & Rosman, A. (2014). Suicidal Ideation Among Malaysian Adolescents. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health, 26(5_suppl), 63S–69S. https://doi.org/10.1177/1010539514540746
Alloy, L. B., Hamilton, J. L., Hamlat, E. J., & Abramson, L. Y. (2016). Pubertal development, emotion regulatory styles, and the emergence of sex differences in internalizing disorders and symptoms in adolescence. Clinical Psychological Science, 4(5), 867–881. https://doi.org/10.1177/2167702616643008
Anonas, M. R. L., & Alampay, L. P. (2015). The Moderating Role of Parental Warmth on the Relation Between Verbal Punishment and Child Problem Behaviors for Same-sex and Cross-sex Parent-Child Groups. Philippine Journal of Psychology, 48(1), 115–152.
Auerbach, R. P., Admon, R., & Pizzagalli, D. A. (2014). Adolescent Depression: Stress and Reward Dysfunction Randy. Harvard Review Psychiatry, 22(3), 139–148. https://doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-4002.BONE.
Baharudin, R., Zulkefly, N. S., & Arshat, Z. (2015). Development of a Cognitive Diathesis Model for Depression in Adolescents: Parenting and Negative Life Events as Predictors. Ministry of Education, Putrajaya.
Baharudin, R., Zulkefly, N. S., & Arshat, Z. (2014). The Development of Malaysian Parenting Behaviour Inventory (MPBI). Ministry of Education, Putrajaya.
Barile, J. P., Grogan, K. E., Henrich, C. C., Brookmeyer, K. A., & Shahar, G. (2012). Symptoms of Depression in Israeli Adolescents Following a Suicide Bombing : The Role of Gender. Journal Early Adolesence, 32(4), 502–515. https://doi.org/10.1177/0272431611400317.
Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., & Garbin, M. G. (1988). Psychometric properties of the Beck Depression Inventory: Twenty-five years of evaluation. Clinical Psychology Review, 8 (1), 77-100. doi: 10.1016/0272-7358(88)90050-5.
Berzenski, S. & Yates, T. (2013). Preschoolers' emotion knowledge and the differential effects of harsh punishments. Journal of Family Psychology, 27(3), 463–472. doi:10.1037/a0032910.
Bouma, E. M. C., Ormel, J., Verhulst, F. C., & Oldehinkel, A. J. (2008). Stressful life events and depressive problems in early adolescent boys and girls: The influence of parental depression, temperament and family environment. Journal of Affective Disorders, 105(1–3), 185–193. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2007.05.007
Burton, E., Stice, E., & Seeley, J. R. (2004). A Prospective test of the stress-buffering model of depression in adolescent girls: No support once again. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72(4), 689–697. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.72.4.689
Chang, L., Schwartz, D., Dodge, K. A., & McBride-Chang, C. (2003). Harsh parenting in relation to child emotion regulation and aggression. Journal of Family Psychology, 17(4), 598–606. https://doi.org/10.1037/0893-322.214.171.1248.
Demoze, M. B., Angaw, D. A., & Mulat, H. (2018). Prevalence and Associated Factors of Depression among Orphan Adolescents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Psychiatry Journal.
Dunn, V., & Goodyer, I. M. (2006). Longitudinal investigation into childhood- and adolescence-onset depression: Psychiatric outcome in early adulthood. British Journal of Psychiatry, 188(MAR.), 216–222. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.188.3.216
Eberhart, N. K., Shih, J. H., Hammen, C. L., & Brennan, P. A. (2006). Understanding the Sex difference in vulnerability to adolescent depression: An examination of child and parent characteristics. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 34(4). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-006-9020-4.
Frison, E., & Eggermont, S. (2015). The impact of daily stress on adolescents’ depressed mood: The role of social support seeking through Facebook. Computers in Human Behavior, 44, 315–325. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2014.11.070.
Garber, J. (2006). Risk and protective factors for depression: Implications for prevention. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 31. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470777954
Grant, K. E., Compas, B. E., Thurm, A. E., Mcmahon, S. D., Gipson, P. Y., Campbell, A. J., … Westerholm, R. I. (2006). Stressors and child and adolescent psychopathology: Evidence of moderating and mediating effects. Clinical Psychology Review, 26, 257–283. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2005.06.011.
Guo, L., Hong, L., Gao, X., Zhou, J., Lu, C., & Zhang, W. H. (2016). Associations between depression risk, bullying and current smoking among Chinese adolescents: Modulated by gender. Psychiatry Research, 237, 282–289. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2016.01.027.
Hammen, C. (2009). Adolescent depression: Stressful interpersonal contexts and risk for recurrence. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18, 200-204.
Hammen, C. (2016). Depression and stressful environments: identifying gaps in conceptualization and measurement. Anxiety, Stress and Coping, 29(4), 335–351. https://doi.org/10.1080/10615806.2015.1134788.
Hankin, B. L., Mermelstein, R., & Roesch, L. (2007). Sex differences in adolescent depression: Stress exposure and reactivity models. Child Development, 78(1), 279–295.
Hankin, B. L., Smolen, A., Gulley, L. D., Abela, J. R. Z., Jenness, J. L., Technow, J. R., … Cohen, J. R. (2015). Depression from childhood into late adolescence: Influence of gender, development, genetic susceptibility, and peer stress. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 124(4), 803–816. https://doi.org/10.1037/abn0000089.
Hankin, B. L., Young, J. F., Abela, J. R. Z., Smolen, A., Jenness, J. L., Gulley, L. D., … Oppenheimer, C. W. (2015). Depression From Childhood Into Late Adolescence : Influence of Gender , Development , Genetic Susceptibility , and Peer Stress, 124(4), 803–816.
Hart, C. H., Nelson, D. A., Robinson, C. C., Olsen, S. F., McNeilly-Choque, M. K. (1998) Overt and relational aggression in Russian nursery-school-age children: Parenting style and marital linkages. Developmental Psychology, 34, 687–697.
Hosmer, D. W., & Lemeshow, S. (2000). Applied Logistic Regression (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated.
Humensky, J., Kuwabara, S. A., Fogel, J., Wells, C., Goodwin, B., & van Voorhees, B. W. (2010). Adolescents with depressive symptoms and their challenges with learning in school. Journal of School Nursing, 26(5), 377–392. https://doi.org/10.1177/1059840510376515.
Johnson J. H. (1982). Life Events as Stressors in Childhood and Adolescence. In B. B. Lahey & Kazdin A. E. (Eds.), Advances in clinical child psychology (pp. 219–253). New York: Plenum.
Johnson, D. P., Whisman, M. A., Corley, R. P., Hewitt, J. K., & Rhee, S. H. (2012). Association between depressive symptoms and negative dependent life events from late childhood to adolescence. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-012-9642-7.
Kaur, J., Cheong, S., Naidu, B., Kaur, G., Manickam, M., Noor, M., . . . Rosman, A. (2014). Prevalence and correlates of depression among adolescents in Malaysia. Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health, 26(5S), 53S-62S. doi:10.1177/1010539514544356.
Khan, A., Ahmed, R., & Burton, N. W. (2017). Prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms in secondary school children in Dhaka city, Bangladesh. Ethnicity & Health, 0(0), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1080/13557858.2017.1398313.
Larson, R.W., & Ham, M. (1993). Stress and “storm and stress” in early adolescence: the relationship of negative events with dysphoric affect. Developmental Psychology, 29,130-140.
Malooly, A. M., Flannery, K. M., & Ohannessian, C. M. C. (2017). Coping mediates the association between gender and depressive symptomatology in adolescence. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 41(2), 185–197. https://doi.org/10.1177/0165025415616202.
McFarlane, A. H., Bellissimo, A., & Norman, G. R. (1995). Family structure, family functioning and adolescent well‐being: the transcendent influence of parental style. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 36(5), 847–864. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.1995.tb01333.x.
McKee, L., Roland, E., Coffelt, N., Olson, A. L., Forehand, R., Massari, C., … Zens, M. S. (2007). Harsh discipline and child problem behaviors : The roles of positive parenting and gender. Journal of Family Violence 187–196. doi:10.1007/s10896-007-9070-6.
Mezulis, A. H., Funasaki, K. S., Charbonneau, A. M., & Hyde, J. S. (2010). Gender differences in the cognitive vulnerability-stress model of depression in the transition to adolescence. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 34(6), 501–513. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-009-9281-7.
Moksnes, U. K., Moljord, I. E. O., Espnes, G. A., & Byrne, D. G. (2010). The association between stress and emotional states in adolescents : The role of gender and self-esteem. Personality and Individual Differences, 49(5), 430–435. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2010.04.012.
Naicker, K., Galambos, N. L., Zeng, Y., Senthilselvan, A., & Colman, I. (2013). Social, demographic, and health outcomes in the 10 years following adolescent depression. Journal of Adolescent Health, 52(5), 533–538. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.12.016.
Nguyen DT, Dedding C, Pham TT, Wright P, & Bunders J. (2013). Depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation among Vietnamese secondary school students and proposed solutions: A cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-13-1195.
Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2001). Gender differences in depression. International Review of Psychiatry, 22(5), 429–436. https://doi.org/10.3109/09540261.2010.492391.
Salk, R. H., Petersen, J. L., Abramson, L. Y., & Hyde, J. S. (2016). The contemporary face of gender differences and similarities in depression throughout adolescence: Development and chronicity. Journal of Affective Disorders, 205, 28–35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2016.03.071.
Shih, J. H., Eberhart, N. K., Hammen, C. L., & Brennan, P. A. (2006). Differential exposure and reactivity to interpersonal stress predict sex differences in adolescent depression. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. 35(1), 103–115.
Sserunjogi, J. N., Rukundo, G. Z., Ovuga, E., Kiwuwa, S. M., & Musisi, S. (2016). Prevalence and factors associated with depression symptoms among school ‑ going adolescents in Central Uganda. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 4–11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13034-016-0133-4.
Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2013). Using Multivariate Statistics (6th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education Incorporated.
Thompson, M. P., Kingree, J. B., & Desai, S. (2004). Gender differences in long-term health consequences of physical abuse of children: Data from a nationally representative survey. American Journal of Public Health, 94(4), 599–604.
Velez, C. E., Krause, E. D., Mckinnon, A., Brunwasser, S. M., Freres, D. R., Abenavoli, R. M., & Gillham, J. E. (2016). Social support seeking and early adolescent depression and anxiety symptoms: The moderating role of rumination. Journal of Early Adolescence, 36(8), 1118-1143. doi:10.1177/0272431615594460.
Wang, J., Wu, X., Lai, W., Long, E., Zhang, X., Li, W., … Lin, H. (2017). Prevalence of depression and depressive symptoms among outpatients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open, 7(8), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017173.
Wang, L., Feng, Z., Yang, G., Yang, Y., Wang, K., Dai, Q., … Xia, F. (2016). Depressive symptoms among children and adolescents in western china: An epidemiological survey of prevalence and correlates. Psychiatry Research, 246, 267–274. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2016.09.050.
Wang M. T., Kenny S. (2014a). Longitudinal links between fathers’ and mothers’ harsh verbal discipline and adolescents’ conduct problems and depressive symptoms. Child Development, 85(3), 908– 923. doi:10.1111/cdev.12143.
Young, C. (2016). Familial factors, cognitive vulnerabilities, and stressful events related to depressive symptoms in Latino adolescents. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 38(3),360-377. doi:10.1177/0739986316644734.
Copyright of the Journal belongs to the University of San Jose-Recoletos