Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Roger R. Ries


The purpose of this study was to determine if there are differences in the regulation of sad affect between depressed and nondepressed adolescents and between younger (12 years to 15 years, 6 months) and older adolescents (15 years, 7 months to 18 years). Using an information processing perspective, this study focused on several steps involved in emotion regulation including the generation, evaluation, and reported use of coping strategies.;Participants included 38 male students, 12 to 18 years of age, attending public middle and high schools in Chesapeake, Virginia. Participants were presented with two scenarios designed to evoke feelings of sadness. They were asked what type of feelings they would have and what coping strategy they would use. After the presentation of each scenario, the participants were given thirty-two strategies to evaluate for effectiveness and to report frequency of use.;The depressed group differed from the nondepressed group in the feelings they expected to have in response to the situations presented, (p {dollar}<{dollar}.02). They also differed in the generation (p {dollar}<{dollar}.02), evaluation for self and others (p {dollar}<{dollar}.011 and p {dollar}<{dollar}.001) and reported use (p {dollar}<{dollar}.002) of the strategies. Relative to the nondepressed group, the depressed group generated more passive avoidance strategies, gave higher ratings of effectiveness to less acceptable strategies and reported using maladaptive coping strategies more often.;The younger group differed from the older group in their evaluations of the strategies for self and others (p {dollar}<{dollar}.000 and p {dollar}<{dollar}.007). Surprisingly, the older male adolescents provided higher effectiveness ratings for the less acceptable/maladaptive strategies than younger adolescents.;This study also found interaction effects for diagnosis and age in the evaluation (p {dollar}<{dollar}.003) and reported use (p {dollar}<{dollar}.009) of specific affect regulation strategies during adolescence, suggesting emotion regulation processes may not progress in the same sequence for depressed and nondepressed adolescents. This strongly indicates that therapeutic interventions rather than maturation alone are necessary.;Further studies to determine if these results can be replicated, and studies with larger and more diverse populations are needed. Studies designed to explore the processes involved in both the perception of affect and the evaluation of coping strategies are needed to explain the types of results found by this study. If these findings are replicated, professionals who work with clinical populations of adolescents may need to review their intervention programs to determine if they are consistent with the outcomes of studies in this area.



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