Advertisement

Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Predict Depressive Symptom Trajectory from Early to Middle Adolescence

  • Stefanie F. GonçalvesEmail author
  • Tara M. Chaplin
  • Caitlin C. Turpyn
  • Claire E. Niehaus
  • Timothy W. Curby
  • Rajita Sinha
  • Emily B. Ansell
Original Article

Abstract

Major depressive disorder begins to increase in early adolescence and is associated with significant impairment (e.g., suicidality). Difficulties in emotion regulation (ER) have been associated with depressive symptoms; however, little research has examined this relation over time beginning in early adolescence. Starting when they were 11–14 years old, 246 adolescents (nboys = 126; nwhite = 158) completed self-report questionnaires on their ER at Time 1 and depressive symptoms every year for 2 years. Results revealed that overall difficulties in ER (and limited access to ER strategies) at Time 1 predicted depressive symptoms both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Gender moderated this relation cross-sectionally, such that higher overall ER difficulties at Time 1 was more strongly associated with higher depressive symptoms for girls than for boys. These findings suggest that depression prevention efforts should promote adaptive ER in early adolescence, particularly for girls, in order to prevent the increases in depressive symptoms seen into middle adolescence.

Keywords

Emotion regulation Adolescents Depressive symptoms Longitudinal 

Notes

Funding

This research was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health, including R01-DA033431 (PI: Chaplin) and F31-DA041790 (PI: Turpyn).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. 1.
    Avenevoli S, Swendsen J, He JP, Burstein M, Merikangas KR (2015) Major depression in the national comorbidity survey–adolescent supplement: prevalence, correlates, and treatment. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 54:37–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Shaffer D (1996) Psychiatric diagnosis in child and adolescent suicide. Arch Gen Psychiatry 53:339–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Rohde P, Noell J, Ochs L, Seeley JR (2001) Depression, suicidal ideation and STD-related risk in homeless older adolescents. J Adolesc 24:447–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Deykin EY, Levy JC, Wells V (1987) Adolescent depression, alcohol and drug abuse. Am J Public Health 77:178–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Glied S, Pine DS (2002) Consequences and correlates of adolescent depression. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 156:1009–1014CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lehrer JA, Shrier LA, Gortmaker S, Buka S (2006) Depressive symptoms as a longitudinal predictor of sexual risk behaviors among US middle and high school students. Pediatrics 118:189–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hatzenbuehler ML, McLaughlin KA, Nolen-Hoeksema S (2008) Emotion regulation and internalizing symptoms in a longitudinal study of sexual minority and heterosexual adolescents. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 49:1270–1278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cohen P, Cohen J, Kasen S, Velez CN, Hartmark C, Johnson J et al (1993) An epidemiological study of disorders in late childhood and adolescence—I. Age-and gender-specific prevalence. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 34:851–867CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Twenge JM, Nolen-Hoeksema S (2002) Age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, and birth cohort difference on the children’s depression inventory: a meta-analysis. J Abnorm Psychol 111:578–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Charbonneau AM, Mezulis AH, Hyde JS (2009) Stress and emotional reactivity as explanations for gender differences in adolescents’ depressive symptoms. J Youth Adolesc 38:1050–1058CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Chaplin TM, Aldao A (2013) Gender differences in emotion expression in children: a meta-analytic review. Psychol Bull 139:735–765CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Nolen-Hoeksema S, Aldao A (2011) Gender and age differences in emotion regulation strategies and their relationship to depressive symptoms. Pers Individ Dif 51:704–708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gross JJ (2001) Emotion regulation in adulthood: timing is everything. Curr Dir Psychol Sci 10:214–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ge X, Conger RD, Elder GH Jr (2001) Pubertal transition, stressful life events, and the emergence of gender differences in adolescent depressive symptoms. Dev Psychol 37:404–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Cole PM, Michel MK, Teti LO (2008) The development of emotion regulation and dysregulation: a clinical perspective. Monogr Soc Res Child Dev 59:73–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Silk JS, Steinberg L, Morris AS (2003) Adolescents emotion regulation in daily life: links to depressive symptoms and problem behavior. Child Dev 74:1869–1880CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Garnefski N, Kraaij V (2006) Relationships between cognitive emotion regulation strategies and depressive symptoms: a comparative study of five specific samples. Pers Individ Dif 40:1659–1669CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Neumann A, van Lier PA, Gratz KL, Koot HM (2009) Multidimensional assessment of emotion regulation difficulties in adolescents using the difficulties in emotion regulation scale. Assessment 17:138–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Feng X, Keenan K, Hipwell AE et al (2009) Longitudinal associations between emotion regulation and depression in preadolescent girls: moderation by the caregiving environment. Dev Psychol 45:798–808CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Poon JA, Turpyn CC, Hansen A, Jacangelo J, Chaplin TM (2015) Adolescent substance use & psychopathology: interactive effects of cortisol reactivity and emotion regulation. Cognit Ther Res 40:368–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kim J, Cicchetti D (2009) Longitudinal pathways linking child maltreatment, emotion regulation, peer relations, and psychopathology. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 51:706–716CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Gratz KL, Roemer L (2004) Multidimensional assessment of emotion regulation and dysregulation: development, factor structure, and initial validation of the difficulties in emotion regulation scale. J Psychopathol Behav Assess 26:41–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Selby EA, Anestis MD, Joiner TE (2008) Understanding the relationship between emotional and behavioral dysregulation: emotional cascades. Behav Res Ther 46:593–611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hendryx MS, Haviland MG, Shaw DG (1991) Dimensions of alexithymia and their relationships to anxiety and depression. J Pers Assess 56:227–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Rieffe C, Rooij MD (2012) The longitudinal relationship between emotion awareness and internalising symptoms during late childhood. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 21:349–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Stange JP, Alloy LB, Flynn M, Abramson LY (2013) Negative inferential style, emotional clarity, and life stress: integrating vulnerabilities to depression in adolescence. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol 42:508–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Davis B, Sheeber L, Hops H, Tildesley E (2000) Adolescent responses to depressive parental behaviors in problem-solving interactions: implications for depressive symptoms. J Abnorm Child Psychol 28:451–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Aldao A, Nolen-Hoeksema S, Schweizer S (2010) Emotion-regulation strategies across psychopathology: a meta-analytic review. Clin Psychol Rev 30:217–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Gross JJ, John OP (2003) Individual differences in two ER processes: implications for affect, relationships, and well-being. J Pers Soc Psychol 85:348–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Smith GT, Guller L, Zapolski TC (2013) A comparison of two models of urgency. Clin Psychol Sci 1:266–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    D’Acremont M, Van der Linden M (2007) How is impulsivity related to depression in adolescence? Evidence from a French validation of the cognitive emotion regulation questionnaire. J Adolesc 30:271–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Hallfors DD, Walle MW, Bauer D, Ford CA, Halpern CT (2005) Which comes first in adolescence—sex and drugs or depression? Am J Prev Med 29:163–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Nolen-Hoeksema S, Stice E, Wade E, Bohon C (2007) Reciprocal relations between rumination and bulimic, substance abuse, and depressive symptoms in female adolescents. J Abnorm Psychol 116:198–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Klimes–Dougan B, Hastings PD, Granger DA, Usher BA, Zahn-Waxler C (2001) Adrenocortical activity in at-risk and normally developing adolescents: individual differences in salivary cortisol basal levels, diurnal variation, and responses to social challenges. Dev Psychopathol 13:695–719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Ordaz S, Luna B (2012) Sex differences in physiological reactivity to acute psychosocial stress in adolescence. Psychoneuroendocrinology 37:1135–1157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Nolen-Hoeksema S, Jackson B (2001) Mediators of the gender difference in rumination. Psychol Women Q 25:37–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Säkkinen P, Kaltiala-Heino R, Ranta K, Haataja R, Joukamaa M (2007) Psychometric properties of the 20-item Toronto alexithymia scale and prevalence of alexithymia in a Finnish adolescent population. Psychosomatics 48:154–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Morgan JK, Olino TM, McMakin DL, Ryan ND, Forbes EE (2013) Neural response to reward as a predictor of increases in depressive symptoms in adolescence. Neurobiol Dis 52:66–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Kovacs M (1992) Children’s depression inventory: Manual. Multi-Health SystemsGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Bang YR, Park JH, Kim SH (2015) Cut-off scores of the children’s depression inventory for screening and rating severity in Korean adolescents. Psychiatry Investig 12:23–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Dubois DL, Felner RD, Bartels CL, Silverman MM (1995) Stability of self-reported depressive symptoms in a community sample of children and adolescents. J Clin Child Psychol 24:386–396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Raudenbush SE, Bryk AS, Congdon R (2011) HLM 7.00 for windows. Scientific Software International, Inc., LincolnwoodGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Nezlek JB (2011) Multilevel modeling for social and personality psychology. SAGE Publications Ltd, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Burwell RA, Shirk SR (2007) Subtypes of rumination in adolescence: associations between brooding, reflection, depressive symptoms, and coping. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol 36:56–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Muris P (2002) Relationships between self-efficacy and symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression in a normal adolescent sample. Pers Individ Dif 32:337–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    van Eck M, Nicolson NA, Berkhof J (1998) Effects of stressful daily events on mood states: relationship to global perceived stress. J Pers Soc Psychol 75:1572–1585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Watson D, Clark LA, Carey G (1988) Positive and negative affectivity and their relation to anxiety and depressive disorders. Journal of Abnorm Psychol 97:346–353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Hill AL, Degnan KA, Calkins SD, Keane SP (2006) Profiles of externalizing behavior problems for boys and girls across preschool: the roles of emotion regulation and inattention. Dev Psychol 42:913–928CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Fernandez-Berrocal P, Alcaide R, Extremera N, Pizarro D (2006) The role of emotional intelligence in anxiety and depression among adolescents. Individ Differ Res 4:16–27Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Petersen AC, Sarigiani PA, Kennedy RE (1991) Adolescent depression: why more girls? J Youth Adolesc 20:247–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Usmiani S, Daniluk J (1997) Mothers and their adolescent daughters: relationship between self-esteem, gender role identity, body image. J Youth Adolesc 26:45–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Dahl RE, Gunnar MR (2009) Heightened stress responsiveness and emotional reactivity during pubertal maturation: implications for psychopathology. Dev Psychopathol 21:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Herting MM, Gautam P, Spielberg JM, Kan E, Dahl RE, Sowell ER (2014) The role of testosterone and estradiol in brain volume changes across adolescence: a longitudinal structural MRI study. Hum Brain Mapp 35:5633–5645CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Pine DS, Cohen E, Cohen P, Brook J (1999) Adolescent depressive symptoms as predictors of adult depression: moodiness or mood disorder? Am J Psychiatry 156:133–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Lewinsohn PM, Clarke GN, Seeley JR, Rohde P (1994) Major depression in community adolescents: age at onset, episode duration, and time to recurrence. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 33:809–818CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Hope TL, Adams C, Reynolds L, Powers D, Perez RA, Kelley ML (1999) Parent vs. self-report: contributions toward diagnosis of adolescent psychopathology. J Psychopathol Behav Assess 21:349–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologySyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

Personalised recommendations