Adolescent Depression, Sensitivity to Social Feedback, and Social Functioning
Fussner, Lauren M.
Luebbe, Aaron M.
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Major depression is particularly prevalent in adolescence, especially for girls (Hankin & Abela, 2005). Important in this phase of life is social functioning, as it can determine a variety of factors later in life (Spear, 2011). Thus, elucidating the ways in which depression affects social functioning is of special importance. The present study was conducted with the aims of reinforcing the existing literature linking depression to deficits in social functioning for adolescent females (Aim 1) as well as identifying two important mechanisms that mediate this relation: individual differences in sensitivity to social reward and sensitivity to social punishment (Aim 2). A sample of 112 female adolescents (M = 16.89, SD = 1.47) was used to investigate whether depressive symptoms were associated with decreased approach to social reward and increased avoidance of social punishment, with each in turn related to deficits in social functioning. Moderate support for hypotheses was found using a behaviorally informed multi-method design.
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