The role of social skills in the development of depressive symptomes : a prospective study
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- Institutt for psykologi 
Although higher social skills are linked to decreasing depressive symptoms, no study have investigated the role of social skills in the development of depressive symptoms in children during the early school years. This study explores whether lower social skills predict an increase of DSM-IV defined depressive symptoms from first grade to third grade. The study relies on data collected from the Trondheim Early Secure Study (TESS) (n = 762). The assesment takes place at age six (T2) and again two years later when they are eight years old (T3). Depressive symptoms are measured with the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment (PAPA) at T2 and with the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment (CAPA) at T3. Social skills are measured using the social skills ratings system (SSRS) - teacher version at T2. Due to possible confounding factors, measures of temperament, gender, comorbid disorders, parental depression, stressful life events and socioeconomic status are included in the regression analyses. The results demonstrate that poor social skills contribute to an increase in depressive symptoms. This finding emphasizes social skills as a protective factor against the development of depressive symptoms, and highlights the importance of promoting social skills in children.