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Journal Article


Humenny G, Grygiel P, Dolata R, Świtaj P. Sch. Ment. Health 2021; 13(2): 250-265.


(Copyright © 2021, Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group)






Previous research shows that deficits in social relationships increase the risk of depression. This study tests the hypothesis that among early adolescents, their status in their peer network (likeability/dislikeability) will be associated with depressive symptoms but only indirectly, through the subjective perception of this status (positive/negative metaperception) and loneliness (feeling of social isolation). Data were collected using sociometric methods and self-report scales from 388 students aged 12-13. Path analysis was applied to verify the hypothesized relationships between the study variables. The findings indicate that: (1) status in the peer network and its perception affect depressive symptoms only indirectly, through loneliness; (2) depressive symptoms depend directly on loneliness alone; (3) status in the peer network does not directly translate into loneliness--its effect is mediated by metaperception; (4) the negative dimension of the peer network status indirectly affects both loneliness and depressive symptoms more strongly than the positive one. The main limitation of the research is its cross-sectional design, which precludes definite conclusions about the direction of the relationships observed. The results obtained help to clarify the complex mechanisms through which objective status in the peer network, its subjective perception and feelings of loneliness contribute to the severity of depressive symptoms among early adolescents. On the practical side, the findings highlight the importance of developing and implementing interventions targeting both the objective and subjective aspects of social relations for the prevention of depression in this age group.

Language: en


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