Preliminary Examination of Sex Differences in Depressive Symptoms among Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatients: The Role of Anxious Symptoms and Generalized Negative Affect

Thomas E. Joiner, Janice A. Blalock, Karen Dineen Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Assessed the emerging view that generalized negative affect and anxious symptoms are important in understanding sex differences in depressive symptoms. Sixty-three adolescent psychiatric inpatients (32 boys, 31 girls), ages 12 to 16(M = 13.87, SD = 1.36), completed measures of positive and negative affect and anxious and depressive symptoms. Results demonstrated, as predicted, that depressive and anxious symptoms were more highly associated in adolescent girls than boys. Furthermore, girls with depressive symptoms were more likely to have comorbid anxious symptoms than boys with depressive symptoms. Sex differences were not found for adolescents with specific depressive symptoms and specific anxious symptoms (i.e., the absence of comorbidity). Our findings supported the possibility that sex differences in pure forms of depression are overestimated and that comorbid internalizing conditions may be more prevalent in adolescent girls than boys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-219
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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