Peer Interactions of Dysphoric Adolescents


The present study sought to extend our knowledge of dysphoric adolescents' dyadic peer interactions. Thirty female dyads (ages 13–17) were videotaped interacting during both a structured and an unstructured task. Fourteen of the dyads were each comprised of a dysphoric girl and a nondysphoric girl; the remaining dyads were comprised of two nondysphoric girls. Girls were considered dysphoric if they scored 10 or higher on the Beck Depression Inventory. Dysphoric subjects evaluated their performances more negatively than nondysphoric subjects and rated their partners more negatively overall. The partners of the dysphoric girls were viewed by raters as less positive and less happy. They saw the dysphoric teens as making more critical comments and evaluated them more negatively overall. There was also a tendency for these girls to reject their dysphoric partners and to become more passive during the unstructured task. The findings indicate that dysphoric adolescent girls evoke negative reactions from peers and negatively influence their peers' behavior. These negative reactions from others may lead to further difficulties in negotiating the developmental tasks of adolescence.

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