Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Janice Zeman

Committee Members

Jennifer Cross

Meghan Sinton


During adolescence, the frequency of depression increases sharply, particularly for girls (Pratt & Brody, 2014). Relatedly, research indicates an association between emotion regulation skills and depression (Sanders, Zeman, Poon, & Miller, 2014), and between peer relationships and depression (Parker & Asher, 1993). The present study examined longitudinal and concurrent relations between the potential protective factors of emotional competencies and friendship quality against the development and maintenance of depressive symptoms in adolescents. Data were collected at two time points (M = 22 months) from 109 youths (T1, Mage = 12. 66 years; T2, Mage = 14. 50 years, 55. 9% female, 77. 8% White), who responded to questions assessing friendship quality with a reciprocated same-sex best friend, emotional competencies, and depressive symptomology. To gain an additional perspective, mothers reported on their child’s depressive symptoms. Multiple regression analyses indicated that anger dysregulation longitudinally positively predicted child-reported depressive symptoms for girls only. Sadness regulation and anger inhibition negatively predicted concurrent child-reported depression in boys only, and sadness dysregulation negatively predicted mother-reported depressive symptoms in boys only. For boys and girls, poor emotion awareness, reluctance to express emotion, anger dysregulation, and sadness inhibition positively predicted depressive symptoms whereas anger coping negatively predicted depressive symptoms concurrently. Lower friendship quality predicted higher child-reported symptoms concurrently and longitudinally. Friendship help and guidance negatively predicted longitudinal child-reported depressive symptoms for boys only, and friendship companionship negatively predicted child-reported depressive symptoms concurrently for girls only. Further friendship validation negatively predicted child-reported depressive symptomology concurrently for both genders, and conflict resolution negatively predicted child- and mother-reported depressive symptomology concurrently for both genders. These findings emphasize the need to examine further both emotion regulation and peer relationships as antecedents of adolescent depression.

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