Adolescents׳ perceptions of peers with depression: An attributional analysis

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Title: Adolescents׳ perceptions of peers with depression: An attributional analysis
Authors: Dolphin, Louise
Hennessy, Eilis
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Date: 30-Aug-2014
Online since: 2014-06-10T14:04:51Z
Abstract: Understanding adolescents׳ perceptions of peers with depression is vital in order to tackle peer exclusion and lessen stigmatization. To examine adolescents׳ perceptions of a hypothetical peer with depression, we test an attributional model: that stigma towards persons with mental disorders is influenced by attributions about the causes of their disorders and inferences of personal responsibility. Participants were 401 adolescents from 4th year/10th grade with an age range of 14.75–17.08 years (M=15.90 years; S.D.=0.403 years). Structural Equation Modeling was employed to assess the relationships among causal attributions (personal control), perceived responsibility, and emotional reactions, in predicting social acceptance/exclusion of a peer with depression. Results indicated that (a) if the peer with depression is perceived as having little control over the cause of depression, responsibility is not inferred, participants feel sympathy and pity, and are likely to socially accept the peer (b) gender of vignette character and participant influence these responses. This study builds on our theoretical understanding of why adolescents with depression may face social exclusion from peers by applying a well‐established theory in social psychology. Findings should be incorporated into the design of interventions aimed at reducing peer exclusion and stigmatization of adolescents with depression.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Journal: Psychiatry Research
Volume: 218
Issue: 3
Start page: 295
End page: 302
Copyright (published version): 2014 Elsevier
Keywords: SEMDepressionAdolescencePeer groupAttribution theory
DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2014.04.051
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Psychology Research Collection

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