Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Girls who experience premature puberty have higher levels of depressive symptoms than their peers (Rierdan & Koff, 1991; Hayward et al., 1997). However, girls with spina bifida (SB) experience different psychosocial changes during puberty. This study proposed two longitudinal, mediated moderation models to investigate whether family variables (i.e., parent-child conflict and emotional distancing) contributed to differences in the connection between early pubertal timing and depressive symptoms for girls with and without SB. 62 families (31 SB, 31typically developing) were recruited for a larger longitudinal study. Constructs were assessed subjectively and objectively with the use of questionnaire and observational data. Findings did not support the hypothesis that the association between early pubertal timing and depressive symptoms depended on whether the girl had SB. However, findings did support group status as a moderator of the association between early pubertal timing and observed conflict and emotional distancing.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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