Mother-Reported and Children’s Perceived Social and Academic Competence in Clinic-Referred Youth: Unique Relations to Depression and/or Social Anxiety and the Role of Self-perceptions

Catherine C. Epkins, Paige L. Seegan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Depression and social anxiety symptoms and disorders are highly comorbid, and are associated with low social acceptance and academic competence. Theoretical models of both depression and social anxiety highlight the saliency of negative self-perceptions. We examined whether children’s self-perceptions of social acceptance and mother-reported youth social acceptance are independently and uniquely related to children’s depression and social anxiety, both before and after controlling for comorbid symptoms. Similar questions were examined regarding academic competence. The sample was 110 clinic-referred youth aged 8–16 years (65 boys, 45 girls; M age = 11.15, SD = 2.57). In the social acceptance area, both youth self-perceptions and mother-perceptions had independent and unique relations to depression and social anxiety, before and after controlling for comorbid symptoms. In the academic domain, both youth self-perceptions and mother-perceptions had independent and unique relations to depression, before and after controlling for social anxiety; yet only youth self-perceptions were related to social anxiety, before, but not after controlling for depression. For depression, larger effect sizes were observed for children’s perceived, versus mother-reported, social acceptance and academic competence. Bootstrapping and Sobel tests found youth self-perceptions of social acceptance mediated the relation between mothers’ perceptions and each of youth depression and social anxiety; and perceived academic competence mediated the relation between mothers’ perceptions and youth depression, both before and after controlling for social anxiety. We found similarities and differences in findings for depression and social anxiety. Theoretical and treatment implications are highlighted, and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-670
Number of pages15
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Volume46
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 13 2015

Keywords

  • Academic competence
  • Children’s depression
  • Children’s social anxiety
  • Self-perceptions
  • Social acceptance
  • Social competence

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