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Interpersonal Risk (and Opportunity) During Adolescence: A Multi-level Perspective on the Emerging Gender Difference in Depression

Sat, April 14, 12:15 to 1:45pm, Hilton, Third Floor, Minneapolis Grand Ballroom-Salon A

Session Type: Invited Address

Integrative Statement

Adolescence is a stage of life marked by striking transformations in the social worlds of youth. As they progress through adolescence, youth must traverse the increasingly intricate and emotionally demanding landscape of family, peer, and romantic relationships. Successfully meeting their basic need for relatedness during this pivotal period thus requires that youth possess strong personal and interpersonal resources. These complex social tasks of adolescence create a developmental context of risk for depression, particularly in girls. Yet, girls’ heightened interpersonal sensitivity may confer many social benefits. This talk will explore the interpersonal context of adolescent depression from a multi-level perspective, considering how the intersection between psychological, biological, and contextual dimensions of interpersonal risk contribute to the emergence and continuity of depression across the transition through adolescence. Highlighting the trade-offs of girls’ interpersonal sensitivity, I will also discuss how female-linked relationship processes can serve as resources that provide the opportunity to redirect adolescent girls toward healthier developmental pathways.

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Biography

Karen D. Rudolph is a professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology at UCLA and completed a clinical internship at the Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital at UCLA. She has been a recipient of a William T. Grant Foundation Faculty Scholars Award and a James McKeen Cattell Sabbatical Award, and has served as a PI and co-PI on several large-scale longitudinal studies funded by the National Institutes of Health. She serves on the editorial boards of Development and Psychopathology and Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology and has served as an associate editor for Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. In 2008, she served as Program Co-Chair for the SRA biennial meeting. Her research uses a multi-level, multi-method approach to examine person-by-environment interactions contributing to depression, with an emphasis on gender differences and developmental transitions that create a context of risk.

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