Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 347–357 | Cite as

Childhood Adversity, Timing of Puberty and Adolescent Depressive Symptoms: A Longitudinal Study in Taiwan

  • Carol Strong
  • Meng-Che Tsai
  • Chung-Ying Lin
  • Chung-Ping Cheng
Original Article


Childhood adversity contributes to depressive symptoms in adolescence, but far less research has focused on an Asian context. This study aims to identify the long-term impact of childhood adversity on adolescents’ depressive symptoms and whether this association is moderated by gender and early pubertal timing in Taiwan. Data in this study are from the Taiwan Education Panel Survey, a longitudinal study that surveyed and followed 4261 junior high school students in year 2001 (at age 13) and three more waves (at ages 15, 17, and 18). Conditional latent growth model results show that having adversity is positively associated with the intercept, but negatively associated with the linear trend of changes of depressive symptoms in adolescence (p < .01). Early pubertal timing is only positively associated with baseline levels for boys (p < .01). Both adversity and early pubertal timing contributes to depressive symptoms when adolescents start junior high school.


Adolescence Childhood adversity Depressive symptoms Longitudinal study Pubertal timing 



This study was funded by the Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST 103-2410-H-006-001). The Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology had no further role in study design, data collection, analysis, interpretation in the writing of the report, or in the decision to submit the paper for publication. Data analyzed in this paper were collected by the research project “Taiwan Education Panel Survey” sponsored by Academia Sinica, Ministry of Education, National Academy for Educational Research and National Science Council in Taiwan. The Survey Research Data Archive, Academia Sinica, is responsible for the data distribution. The authors appreciate the assistance in providing data by the aforementioned institutes.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public Health, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University HospitalNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University HospitalNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan

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