Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Lynne Zarbatany, Ph.D.


This study examined socialization of depressive symptoms in pre- and early adolescent peer cliques, and clique characteristics (clique gender and friendship density) that may moderate the contribution of clique depression to the prediction of youths’ depressive symptoms over time. Social cognitive mapping identified 162 peer cliques involving 999 youths from Grades 4 through 8 (M age = 11.84; SD = 1.52) in Southwestern Ontario. As expected, multi-level modeling revealed that clique depressive symptoms in fall contributed significantly to the prediction of youths’ depressive symptoms in spring. Null findings regarding clique friendship density and gender as moderators of clique depression socialization suggest that friendship characteristics involving intimacy and mutual self-disclosure, and cognitive and behavioral characteristics associated with girls (e.g., depressogenic thoughts) may not be essential to clique depression socialization. Future research should examine whether members of depressed cliques become more depressed due to external factors impinging on cliques, such as victimization.