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Examining the Moderating Effects of Adolescent Self-Compassion on the Relationship Between Social Rank and Depression Open Access


Other title
social rank
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Williams, Jennifer L
Supervisor and department
Van Vliet, K. Jessica (Department of Educational Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Truscott, Derek (Educational Psychology)
Leroy, Carol (Elementary Education)
Department of Educational Psychology
Counselling Psychology
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Education
Degree level
Depression among today’s youth is associated with detrimental risk factors, including suicide. The social rank theory of depression suggests that humans naturally engage in social competition to achieve status and when perceptions of inferiority arise, depression may be triggered. The current study examined self-compassion as a resiliency mechanism against depression among adolescents with perceptions of low social rank. It was proposed that low social rank and decreased self-compassion would predict depression, and that self-compassion would moderate the relationship between rank and depression. A sample of 126 adolescents completed questionnaires measuring depression, social rank (defined by social comparison and submissive behaviour), and self-compassion. Results indicated that negative social comparison, increased submissive behaviour, and decreased self-compassion predicted depression. Furthermore, high levels of self-compassion weakened the relationship between rank and depression, while low levels of self-compassion strengthened the relationship. These findings may have important implications for counselling psychologists working with depression in adolescence.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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