Child Maltreatment, Delinquent Behavior, and School Factors as Predictors of Depressive Symptoms from Adolescence to Adulthood: A Growth Mixture Model


Previous methodological approaches have not been flexible enough to model the heterogeneity of depressive symptoms or to identify variations between prototypical trajectories conditional on risk and protective factors. The current study examined latent class trajectories of depressive symptoms using data from 3,819 respondents of the Adolescent Health Survey. Four trajectory profiles of depressive symptoms were identified: low-stable, high-decreasing, low-increasing, and moderate-decreasing. A broad array of risk factors were included into the modeling procedure to identify predictors of group membership. Relative to the low-stable group, membership in one of the three symptomatic groups (i.e., heightened depressive symptoms) was predicted by poverty, low self-esteem, gender, drinking frequency, poor academic outcomes, delinquency, and child maltreatment type. This study contributes to our understanding about the longitudinal manifestations of depression and identifies a broad array of factors significantly related to pathways of resilience.