Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 47, Issue 8, pp 1712–1730 | Cite as

When Do Good Things Lift You Up? Dampening, Enhancing, and Uplifts in Relation To Depressive and Anhedonic Symptoms in Early Adolescence

  • Sabine NelisEmail author
  • Margot Bastin
  • Filip Raes
  • Patricia Bijttebier
Empirical Research


Longitudinal studies examining the role of response styles to positive affect (i.e., dampening and enhancing) for depressive symptoms have yielded inconsistent results. We examined concurrent and prospective relations of dampening and enhancing with depressive and anhedonic symptoms, and whether these relations depend on the frequency of uplifts. Early adolescents (N = 674, 51.6% girls, Mage = 12.7 years, range 11.3–14.9) completed questionnaires three times (one-year intervals). Dampening interacted with daily uplifts predicting concurrent depressive symptoms. Dampening was unrelated to depressive and anhedonic symptoms one year later. High dampening and low enhancing predicted relative increases in anhedonia over two years. Relationships did not differ for girls and boys. Therapeutic interventions designed to promote adaptive responding to positive affect may, thus, reduce anhedonia in adolescence.


Dampening Enhancing Positive affect Uplifts Depressive symptoms Anhedonia 



The authors thank Sabrina Baeten, Eline Belmans, Jacintha Brand, Tessa Ceusters, Charlotte Ciers, Nandi De Preter, Sara De Wachter, Aurélie Gielen, Valentina Herman, Lowiese Houssouliez, Ine Loysch, Pauline Maes, Esther Michiels, Yentl Van der Wee, Lotte Verhulst, and Isabelle Yaramis for their help in the data collection.

Authors’ Contributions

S.N. participated in the conception and design, coordination, and data collection of the study, performed the statistical analyses, interpreted the data, and took the lead in writing up the manuscript. M.B. participated in the conception and design, coordination, and data collection of the study, and critically revised the manuscript. F.R. participated in the conception and design of the study and critically revised the manuscript. P.B. participated in the conception and design of the study, and critically revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


This study was funded by the Research Foundation–Flanders (Grant G.0923.12 to Patricia Bijttebier and Ph.D. fellowship to Margot Bastin). Filip Raes is supported by KU Leuven Center for Excellence on Generalization Research (GRIP-TT; PF/10/005).

Data Sharing Declaration

The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict 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

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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