Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 565–575 | Cite as

Social problem-solving in depressed, conduct-disordered, and normal adolescents

  • Risha D. Joffe
  • Keith S. Dobson
  • Stuart Fine
  • Keith Marriage
  • Glenn Haley


Although past theory and research implicate social problem- solving deficits in both depression and aggressive disorders, research examining carefully diagnosed groups of adolescent depressed and conduct- disordered groups had not previously been conducted. In the current study three groups of adolescents (major depression, conduct- disordered, and normal) were studied using two social problem- solving measures. Both the Means- Ends Problem- Solving task (MEPS) and the Social Situations Analysis measure (SSA) failed to show social problem- solving problem deficits in the depressed group relative to their normal age peers, but did provide corroborative evidence for social problem- solving deficits in the conduct- disordered sample. Relative to the other two groups, the conduct- disordered adolescents were found to generate fewer means to a social end, to anticipate fewer obstacles in the pursuit of solutions to interpersonal situations, and to generate fewer assertive behavioral solutions to difficult social situations. The results are discussed in relation to other work with depressed and aggressive youth, and directions for future research are given.


Major Depression Social Problem Analysis Measure Situation Analysis Depressed Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Risha D. Joffe
    • 1
  • Keith S. Dobson
    • 3
  • Stuart Fine
    • 1
  • Keith Marriage
    • 2
  • Glenn Haley
    • 1
  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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