Contingent self-worth and gender differences in adolescent depression: A commentary

This manuscript comments on Cambron, Acitelli and Pettit’s review of interpersonal contingencies (this issue). This commentary addresses the authors’ attention to the process by which self-worth is maintained—rather than the level or content of self-worth—as a risk for depression among females. We explore several possible explanations for the mixed diathesis-stress findings related to self-worth contingencies, including the measurement of contingencies and the conceptualization of domains of self-worth. Additional intra and interpersonal factors placing girls at risk for depression are reviewed, and possible underpinnings of interpersonal self-worth contingencies are presented. We explore ethnic differences in self-worth, diversity in cultural focus on the self, and possible biases in cultural frameworks in assessing self-worth contingencies. Links between self-worth contingencies and rumination are further elaborated, and clinical implications are presented.