Positive youth development and adolescent depression: A longitudinal study based on mainland Chinese high school students

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


There are several limitations of the scientific literature on the linkage between positive youth development (PYD) attributes and adolescent psychological morbidity. First, longitudinal studies in the field are limited. Second, few studies have used validated PYD measures to explore the related issues. Third, few studies have used large samples. Fourth, limited studies have been conducted in mainland China. In this study, we conducted a longitudinal study using two waves of data collected from 2648 junior high school students in mainland China. In each wave, participants responded to a validated PYD scale (Chinese Positive Youth Development Scale: CPYDS) and other measures of well-being, including the 20-item Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). After controlling for the background demographic variables, different measures of CPYDS (cognitive–behavioral competence, prosocial attributes, general positive youth development qualities, positive identity, and overall PYD qualities) were negatively associated with CES-D scores in Wave 1 and Wave 2. Longitudinal analyses also revealed that PYD measures in Wave 1 negatively predicted Wave 2 depression scores and the changes over time. The present findings highlight the protective role of PYD attributes in protecting adolescents from depression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4457
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Adolescence
  • Depression
  • Longitudinal study
  • Mental health
  • Positive youth development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this