Title

Brief Report: "I Can't Talk About It:" Sexuality And Self-silencing As Interactive Predictors Of Depressive Symptoms In Adolescent Dating Couples

Abstract

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.

Publisher

Academic Press

Publication Date

8-1-2011

Publication Title

Journal of Adolescence

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1016/j.adolescence.2010.04.006

Keywords

Romantic relationships, Sexual behavior, Self-silencing, Depressive symptoms, Rejection sensitivity

Language

English

Format

text

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