Does worry moderate the relation between aggression and depression in adolescent girls?
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Aggressive girls, more so than aggressive boys, are at an increased risk for depression. Despite disconcerting outcomes, few researchers have examined factors that may attenuate or exacerbate the relation between aggression and depression. Competing hypotheses for explaining the role of worry in the relation between aggressive behaviour and depressive symptoms, commonly co-occurring problems in girls, have been proposed. In the present study, we examined worry as a possible moderator in the relation between girls nominated as aggressive by their peers and self-reported depressive symptoms in a sample of 226 girls aged 13 (M = 12.92, SD = 1.28) at Time 1. We found that worry exacerbated the risk of depressive symptoms concurrently and one year later for physically aggressive girls, but not relationally aggressive girls. These results suggest that worry plays an important role in the prediction of depression for aggressive girls, which varies by the form aggression takes.
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