Mediating Effects of Coping Strategies and Moderating Effects of Effortful Control on the Relation between Stress and Depression

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dc.contributor.advisor Snyder, Hannah
dc.contributor.advisor DiDomenico, Grace
dc.contributor.author Rosenblatt, Nina
dc.date.accessioned 2019-06-27T12:36:01Z
dc.date.available 2019-06-27T12:36:01Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10192/36933
dc.description.abstract Stress is a prominent risk factor for depression in college students. However, students manage this stress in many ways, such as using maladaptive or adaptive coping strategies, which can decrease or increase risk for depression. We firstly hypothesized that rumination, a maladaptive strategy, and problem solving, an adaptive strategy, would serve as parallel mediators in the relation between stress and depression. To understand why individuals tend to engage in these maladaptive versus adaptive coping strategies, we investigated cognitive control, namely effortful control (EC), because those with higher EC should be able to flexibly shift attentional resources towards actions that confront the stressor, which ultimately reduces risk of depression. Thus, we also hypothesized that EC would moderate the relation between stress and coping strategy use: higher EC would weaken the association between stress and rumination but strengthen the association between stress and problem solving. Using a cross-sectional and semester-long longitudinal design, the current study tested these hypotheses in a sample of emerging adult college students (n= 153, ages 18-23). Rumination, but not problem solving, mediated the relation between stress and depression cross-sectionally, but not longitudinally. EC did not moderate the association between stress and coping strategy, but higher EC was associated with decreased rumination and increased problem solving. Therefore, this study highlights the value of targeting rumination and problem solving in college students, especially for those with lower cognitive control, as well as interventions that focus on redirecting maladaptive stress responses.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.rights Copyright by Nina Rosenblatt 2019
dc.title Mediating Effects of Coping Strategies and Moderating Effects of Effortful Control on the Relation between Stress and Depression
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Department of Psychology
dc.degree.name BA
dc.degree.level Bachelors
dc.degree.discipline Psychology
dc.degree.grantor Brandeis University, School of Arts and Sciences


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