Individuation as an Adolescent Developmental Task: Associations with Adoptee Adjustment
- Danila Musante, DANILA S. MUSANTE, Danila S. Musante, Sara Whitcomb
The purpose of this article is twofold: (1) to summarize the theoretical frame-work, methodological orientation, and gender-differentiated findings of our ongoing study of the personality context, prospective and concurrent, for depressive symptoms at age 18; and (2) to report new longitudinal relations between preadolescent play constructions (at age 11) and depressive tendencies reported seven years later. Eighty-seven 18-year-olds completed the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Seven years earlier, at age 11, the subjects were observed in a play construction situation. Six psychologically coherent, reliable play composite variables were generated from the codings of videotapes and related longitudinally, in a hierarchical polynomial regression design, to the later CES-D scores. Among preadolescent girls, concern with morality and loss foretold, linearly, depressive experiences. The quadratic regression function explained additional variance: relative to girls receiving intermediate CES-D scores, girls earning loworhigh scores were seen as more overcontrolling of impulse, more angry, and more concerned with loss. Among preadolescent boys, only curvilinear relations were obtained. Relative to boys receiving intermediate CES-D scores, boys earning loworhigh CES-D scores were seen during preadolescence as more undercontrolling of impulse, more angry, and more concerned with loss as theme. The implications of these findings are discussed.