Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Counseling and Human Development

Degree Program

Counseling and Personnel Services, PhD

Committee Chair

Pössel, Patrick

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Valentine, Jeffrey

Committee Member

LaJoie, A. Scott

Committee Member

Hardesty, Patrick

Author's Keywords

depression; achievement; child; adolescent; meta-analysis


Researchers in the fields of both education and mental health endeavor to develop and implement interventions which will bring children and adolescents greater academic success and optimally address mental health issues. Educators seek to target risk factors which might impede a student’s success in the classroom, while mental health providers seek to reduce issues within a child’s environment which might be risk factors for depression. Evidence for a cross-sectional relationship between adolescent depression and academic achievement is well-supported, with depression and achievement being negatively correlated in adolescents. The longitudinal relationship between these two variables is not fully understood, however. While primary studies provide evidence of a negative longitudinal correlation between depression and achievement among adolescents (Haines, Norris, & Kashy, 1996), to date there has yet to be a state-of-the-art meta-analysis that aggregates and examines the bidirectional relationship between depression and achievement over time. The purpose of this analysis is to fill this gap, with an exploration of the magnitude of the relationship between achievement and depression, as well as consideration of moderators which may impact the relationships between depression and achievement over time. Longitudinal studies (N = 26) that assess both depression scores and achievement at multiple time points were synthesized in order to estimate the overall relationship between the variables, and to elucidate the role of moderator variables which may impact any relationship over time, including biological sex, age, lapse between data waves, and method of measurement of both achievement and depression. The intention of the current study is to enhance the ability to predict scholastic or mental health issues, and to understand whether methodological considerations might better target when and for whom achievement and depressive issues are most correlated. Results indicate a small but statistically significant relationship between achievement and subsequent depression (r = -.0824, p < .0001, 95% CI = -0.1171 to -.0478). The relationship between depression and subsequent achievement was not statistically significant. None of the above mentioned variables examined as potential moderators were statistically significant.