Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 179–192 | Cite as

Gender Differences in Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression and Behavior Problems in Adolescents



This study assessed gender differences in cognitive variables as an explanation for gender differences in depression and behavior problems; 856 adolescents (491 females and 365 males), aged 14–17, completed the Irrational Beliefs Scale for Adolescents, the Social Problem Solving Inventory—Revised Short Form, the adolescent version of the Burnett Self-Talk Inventory, and the Youth Self Report. Female adolescents’ lower levels of positive thinking and higher scores on negative problem orientation, need for approval and success, and self-focused negative cognitions partially mediated gender differences in depressive symptoms. Males’ higher scores on justification of violence beliefs and the impulsivity/carelessness style of problem solving partially accounted for differences in delinquent behavior. The influence of need for approval and success on depressive symptoms was higher among adolescents at ages 14–15 than among older adolescents. Justification of violence did not influence delinquent behavior among girls at age 14–15.


gender automatic thoughts problem-solving irrational beliefs depression behavior problems 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of DeustoBilbaoSpain
  2. 2.Begoñako Andramari Teacher Training CollegeBilbaoSpain

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