Sex differences in depression and explanatory style in children

Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Joan S. Girgus, Martin E.P. Seligman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


We report data from the first two years of a longitudinal study of depression, and explanatory style in children. Measures of these variables have been obtained from a group of elementary school children every six months since they were in the third grade. Results show that the boys consistently reported more depressive symptoms than the girls. This was particularly true for symptoms of anhedonia and behavioral disturbance. The boys also showed much more maladaptive explanatory styles than the girls. These results are discussed in light of previous studies of sex differences in children's attributions. Possible reasons for the expected switch in the sex differences in puberty are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-245
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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