Ample research has shown that the link between social skills and adolescent depression is significant. However, how the changes in different domains of social skills influence the change in depression from early to middle adolescence remains largely unknown. To address this gap in knowledge, the current research used longitudinal data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (N = 1061) to examine the influences of the changes in cooperation, assertion, responsibility, and self-control on the change in depression from early to middle adolescence. Univariate latent growth modeling showed that, from early to middle adolescence, adolescents experience decreases in cooperation and assertion, increases in responsibility and depression, and stability in self-control. Multivariate latent growth modeling suggested that adolescents who had more increases in responsibility and self-control tended to experience a slower increase in depression from early to middle adolescence; while adolescents who had more decreases in cooperation and assertion tended to experience a faster increase in depression from early to middle adolescence. The results suggested that promoting adolescents social skills might be particularly salient for the prevention of adolescent depression.
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