Abstract

This study examined the extent to which sixth grade peer status could predict anxiety and/or depression in 5,242 women and 5,004 men who were born in 1953 and whose hospital records were followed up from 1973–2003. The data used was the Stockholm Birth Cohort Study. While no association could be established for men, results indicated that women who held low peer status positions in childhood were at a considerably higher risk of anxiety and/or depression later in life compared to women in average status positions. Women who held popular positions during childhood did not differ significantly from their average counterparts. These findings persisted after adjusting for family- and child-related problem-load, perceived security at school, family constellation, socioeconomic status as well as the child’s cognitive ability, ninth grade school marks and continuance to upper secondary school.