Date of Award

2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology

Department

College of Sciences and Health Professions

First Advisor

Ilya Yaroslavsky

Subject Headings

Clinical Psychology

Abstract

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a highly prevalent disorder of a recurrent nature that enacts a high burden across many domains. MDD has been conceptualized as a disorder of emotion regulation deficits in the frequent use of maladaptive ER responses as opposed to adaptive ER responses. While adaptive ER responses have been generally found to be efficacious in reducing distress within laboratory settings, they often fail to predict depression symptoms, do not differentiate those at high- from low-risk for MDD, and do not prognosticate risk for new MDD episodes. Given the preponderance of evidence suggesting a reliance on maladaptive ER among depressed persons and those at risk for the disorder, it is feasible maladaptive response deployment precedes and undermines the effectiveness of adaptive ER responses. The present study sought to test this possibility in a sample of 59 adults who following a negative mood induction either deployed an adaptive ER response (recalling a Positive Autobiographical Memory, PAM) or maladaptive ER (engaging in rumination) that preceded PAM. Contrary to expectation, neither rumination, participants’ depression levels, nor their interaction undermines PAM’s mood repair effects. An interaction between ER response sequence and depression levels was observed regarding the negative affect endorsed post-PAM. Moderation analysis revealed that those who immediately recalled PAM following mood induction endorsed higher negative affect compared to those who ruminated prior to PAM.

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