The influences of perceived social support and personality on trajectories of subsequent depressive symptoms in Taiwanese youth

Yin Ju Lien*, Jhih Ning Hu, Chia Yi Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Little is known about the combined effect of personality and social support on trajectories of depressive symptoms among youth. This study aims to investigate the influence of social support in different contexts on the development of depressive symptoms during adolescence and whether the association is moderated by adolescents' personality. The data using in this study is selected from the Taiwan Educational Panel Survey (TEPS), a longitudinal panel study since the year 2000 (at age 13) and three more waves (at ages 15, 17, and 18). A total of four waves of students' data (N = 4163) are analyzed using the latent growth models. The results indicate that the depressive symptom trajectory of Taiwan adolescents gradually grows in a quadratic curve. Social support in family context rather than school context was associated with depressive symptoms, while only a positive association is found between maternal support and depressive symptoms at the start. Meanwhile, increased extroversion personality is associated with the decreased initial level, increased linear changes, and decreased non-linear quadratic changes of adolescents' depressive symptoms. Further analyses show that a significant interaction between maternal support and extroversion personality is associated with increased non-linear quadratic growth curve of adolescents' depressive symptoms. In conclusion, adolescents' extroversion personality might moderate the effect of maternal support on developmental trajectory of depressive symptoms. Intervention that improves social support should take account for adolescent's personality, which may alter trajectory of psychological distress during adolescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-155
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 1


  • Family context
  • Mental health development
  • Personality
  • School context
  • Social support
  • Taiwanese youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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