Development and Psychopathology


Role of aggression, rejection, and attributions in the prediction of depression in children

William F. Panaka1 c1 and Judy Garbera2 c1

a1 Indiana University Medical Center

a2 Vanderbilt University


Concurrent and predictive relations among aggression, peer rejection, and self-reported depressive symptoms were examined in 521 third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade children at three time points over 1 year. Increases in aggression were significantly associated with increases in depression, and this relation was mediated, in part, through increases in peer rejection. The relation between peer-reported rejection and depression was mediated by perceived rejection. Finally, we found support for the cognitive diathesis-stress model of depression in children. Controlling for initial levels of depression and peer rejection, the interaction between stress (increases in peer rejection) and a depressogenic attributional style contributed significantly to the prediction of self-reported depressive symptoms 1 year later.


c1 Send reprint requests to: William Panak or Judy Garber, Box 512 Peabody, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37203.