Active vulnerability, adolescent distress, and the mediating/suppressing role of life events Academic Article uri icon


  • We tested a mediating/suppressing model linking personality vulnerability, negative and positive life events, and adolescent emotional distress. The model relied on three hypotheses. The first hypothesis was that negative life events would mediate the effect of adolescent dependency and self-criticism on distress. The second hypothesis was that positive events would mediate the effect of self-criticism on distress. The third hypothesis was that positive events would suppress, rather than mediate, the effect of dependency on distress. These hypotheses were tested and confirmed in a 16-week longitudinal study of 603 Israeli adolescents. Results elucidate the mechanism by which self-criticism confers vulnerability, suggest that a dialectic tension between risk and resilience is embedded in the construct of dependency, and extend action perspectives on distress.

publication date

  • January 1, 2003