Early Adolescents’ Gender Typicality and Depressive Symptoms: The Moderating Role of Parental Acceptance

Sonya Xinyue Xiao, Aubrey Hoffer, Carol Lynn Martin, Diana L. Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In a school sample of early adolescents, we expanded the view of gender typicality to include adolescents who varied in the extent of felt similarity to own- and other-gender peers, and examined how their felt own- and other-gender similarity, are related to depression. Further, we examined the moderating role of parental acceptance of gender atypicality. Participants were 504 ethnically/racially diverse sixth graders (Mage = 11 years, SD = 0.56, 51.6% boys) and their parents. Path analyses showed that adolescents’ felt own-gender similarity, but not felt other-gender similarity, was negatively related to depression. Further, when parental acceptance was high, adolescent depression was low, even for adolescents who had cross-gender tendencies or low own-gender tendencies. Tendencies of atypicality were only related to risk for depression when parental acceptance was low. These findings support previous research that many variations of gender typicality exist, and highlighted the importance of parental acceptance of gender atypicality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)822-840
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Volume42
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • depression
  • early adolescents
  • gender
  • gender atypicality
  • parental acceptance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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