Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-2018


This study aimed to examine James C. Coyne’s (1976) interpersonal theory of depression, which supposes that individuals with depression engage in aversive behaviors, causing those around them to reject the relationship in a group of adolescents aged 11-18 (N = 82). Data from the North Yarmouth Academy Peer Project, collected by Dr. Rebecca Schwartz-Mette was used to assess the effect of peer rejection on adolescent depressive symptoms. Participants were surveyed on a number of scales rating emotional adjustment, psychosocial function, internalizing problems, and friendship behaviors. Moderator variables, including three interpersonal behaviors (excessive reassurance-seeking, negative feedback-seeking, conversational self-focus) and one social-cognitive factor (rejection sensitivity) were tested for their effects on this interaction. To examine primary hypotheses regarding the trajectories of depressive symptoms, multiple linear regression analyses were used. Moderated regression analyses tested whether the trajectories were moderated by hypothesized moderator variables. Results of the current study indicated mean-level gender differences in depressive symptoms, mean-level grade group differences in depressive symptoms, correlational linkage with total friends to depressive symptoms, and correlational linkage of depressive symptoms to moderator variables. Results did not indicate significant main effects for the relationship of depressive symptoms with peer rejection.

Included in

Psychology Commons