Comparing cognitive, relational and stress mechanisms underlying gender differences in recovery from bereavement-related internalizing problems

Michelle Little, Irwin Sandler, Sharlene Wolchik, Jenn-Yun Tein, Tim S. Ayers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Four putative mediators underlying gender differences in youths' recovery from bereavement-related internalizing problems were examined in a sample (N = 109; age range = 8-16 years at the initial assessment) of parentally bereaved youth: intrusive thoughts about grief, postdeath stressors, negative appraisals of postdeath stressors, and fear of abandonment. A three-wave parallel process longitudinal growth model design was employed. Changes in internalizing problems and mediators were measured as a function of months since the death. Girls showed stability in depression symptoms and a slight rise in anxiety symptoms; boys' trajectories of symptoms of anxiety and depression declined. Girls' higher initial levels of postdeath stressors, threat appraisals and fear of abandonment mediated their higher level of internalizing problems 14 months later. Girls' higher initial fear of abandonment also mediated additional growth in anxiety relative to boys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-500
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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