Development and Psychopathology

Special Issue: Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood

Continuities in depression from adolescence to young adulthood: Contrasting ecological influences

a1 University of Michigan

Article author query
gutman lm   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
sameroff aj   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


The prevalence, recurrence, and incidence of depression in adolescence and young adulthood are substantial for both males and females. In this study, we examined social setting variables that influence depression in males and females from adolescence to young adulthood. Rather than focusing on single ecological factors, we examined multiple settings including families, peers, and neighborhoods using longitudinal data from 372 families living in a large eastern urban area. We found that variables related to depression differed for males and females depending on the developmental period being examined. Family and peer variables in adolescence were significantly related to change in depression during the transition to adulthood for males, whereas family and neighborhood variables were marginally significant for females. Family and neighborhood variables in adulthood were significantly related to change in depression for females, and peer variables were significant for both males and females. Overall, contextual variables in adolescence had a more significant impact on change in depression for males, whereas contemporary variables in young adulthood had a more significant impact on change in depression for females. a

c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Leslie Morrison Gutman, University of Michigan, Center for Human Growth and Development, 300 North Ingalls, 10th level, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0406; E-mail:


a The authors acknowledge the assistance of Frank Furstenberg for the collection of this data with funds from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Network on Successful Adolescence in High Risk Environments. The authors also acknowledge partial support for the writing of this article from a National Institute of Mental Health Behavioral Science Research Center Grant awarded to the second author.