Objectives: This study identified temporal sequencing in the associations between family support and depressive symptoms over the course of adolescence for youth in Ghana. Methods: Data derived from a longitudinal cohort study of 718 Ghanaian adolescents (58 % female) who were, on average, 13.84 years at Wave 1. Youth completed surveys at three time points separated by an 18-month time lag from early through late adolescence. Latent growth curve techniques were used to investigate the degree to which family support predicts changes in youth depressive symptoms and/or depressive symptoms precede changes in family support from early through late adolescence. Results: Youth in Ghana experience declines in family support and increases in depressive symptoms over the course of adolescence. The associations between lower family support and higher depressive symptoms are recursive or bidirectional over time. Conclusions: Study results suggest the value of promoting family support and reducing youth’s depressive symptomology as a way of interrupting a recursive cycle of declining family support and increasing depressive symptomology from early through late adolescence.
- Adolescent depressive symptoms
- Family support
- Latent growth curve models
- Sub-Saharan Africa
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health