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

  • Author / Creator
    Williams, Jennifer L
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2013-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3PH20
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Educational Psychology
  • Specialization
    • Counselling Psychology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Van Vliet, K. Jessica (Department of Educational Psychology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Truscott, Derek (Educational Psychology)
    • Leroy, Carol (Elementary Education)