Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 1954–1968 | Cite as

Associations Between Temperament, Emotion Regulation, and Depression in Youth: The Role of Positive Temperament

  • Marie-Lotte Van BeverenEmail author
  • Kathryn McIntosh
  • Eva Vandevivere
  • Laura Wante
  • Laura Vandeweghe
  • Kim Van Durme
  • Julie Vandewalle
  • Sandra Verbeken
  • Caroline Braet
Original Paper


For a long time, associations between temperamental reactivity, emotion regulation (ER) strategies, and depression in youth were studied with a primary focus on the adverse impact of the negative emotionality (NE) temperament dimension and maladaptive ER strategies. The current study aims to answer the question whether positive emotionality (PE) and adaptive ER strategies also play a role in these associations. In a convenience sample of 176 youth (9–18 years; M = 13.58, SD = .94) data were obtained on NE and PE, the use of both maladaptive and adaptive ER strategies, and depressive symptoms. Results indicate that higher levels of NE and lower levels of PE were both associated with more depressive symptoms. Additionally, we found the interaction of NE and PE to be significantly related to depressive symptoms, with lower levels of PE being a vulnerability factor, facilitating the relationship between higher levels of NE and symptoms. Third, higher levels of NE were associated with the use of more maladaptive ER strategies, but were unrelated to adaptive ER strategies. There was no association between PE, and either maladaptive or adaptive ER strategies. Fourth, higher levels of maladaptive ER strategies, and lower levels of adaptive ER strategies were both associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms. Finally, no evidence was found for the mediation of ER strategies in the relationship between temperamental reactivity and depressive symptoms. Current study findings underline the need of identifying resilience factors for depression in youth. Insight into such factors is pivotal for the successful development and implementation of prevention and intervention programs.


Emotion regulation Temperament Positive emotionality Adaptive emotion regulation Depression Youth 

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOC 161 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie-Lotte Van Beveren
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kathryn McIntosh
    • 1
  • Eva Vandevivere
    • 1
  • Laura Wante
    • 1
  • Laura Vandeweghe
    • 1
  • Kim Van Durme
    • 1
  • Julie Vandewalle
    • 1
  • Sandra Verbeken
    • 1
  • Caroline Braet
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Developmental, Personality, and Social PsychologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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