Brief Report: "I Can't Talk About It:" Sexuality And Self-silencing As Interactive Predictors Of Depressive Symptoms In Adolescent Dating Couples
This longitudinal study examined sexual intercourse within adolescent romantic relationships as a couple-level moderator of the association between adolescent individual characteristics and depressive symptoms. Two hundred nine middle- and older-adolescent dating couples (aged 14-17 and 17-21, respectively) reported on their own self-silencing, depressive symptoms, and sexual behaviors. At Time 1, frequency of sexual intercourse significantly moderated the relationship between self-silencing and depressive symptoms, such that adolescents higher in self-silencing engaging in more frequent sex were at risk for clinically significant levels of depression. Adolescents who were low in self-silencing were not at increased risk for depression, regardless of frequency of sex. Self-silencing also significantly predicted increases in depressive symptoms from Time 1 to Time 2. Implications include the possibility that frequent sex in highly self-silencing adolescents exacerbates psychological depletion believed to link self-silencing to depressive symptoms, and that this depletion compounds over time.
Little, Katherine C., Deborah P. Welsh, Nancy Darling, and Rachel M. Holmes. 2011. "Brief Report: "I Can't Talk About It:" Sexuality And Self-silencing As Interactive Predictors Of Depressive Symptoms In Adolescent Dating Couples." Journal Of Adolescence 34(4): 789-794.
Journal of Adolescence
Romantic relationships, Sexual behavior, Self-silencing, Depressive symptoms, Rejection sensitivity