Risk behaviors at late childhood and early adolescence as predictors of depression symptoms

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The study aims to answer following questions: (1) What are the risk behaviors among children at late childhood and early stage of adolescence? (2) What are the differences between boys and girls concerning problem behaviors? (3) Do risk behaviors predict symptoms of depression? Participants fulfilled the set of three tools: (1) Children Depression Inventory authored by M. Kovacs (1992); (2) List of experienced risk behaviors and (3) List of open questions concerning the knowledge and experience with smart drugs. The study group consisted of 130 boys and girls attending the fifth and sixth grade of primary school. The study shows differences between boys’ and girls’ risk behaviors, as well as the similarities. The findings indicate that gender-related disparities in problem behaviors exist even at the early stages of puberty. Boys under one parent custody declare significantly more risk behaviors than girls under one parent custody. Finally, the symptoms of depression were predicted by cumulative number of risk behaviors and – on tendency level – by type of parental custody.

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