Graduation Year

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Jonathan Rottenberg, Ph.D.

Keywords

Depression, Goals, Motivation, Female, Undergraduate

Abstract

Although many theories attempt to explain the manner in which deficits in goal generation may lead to an episode of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), few studies have actually described how persons with depression vulnerability generate goals for themselves. The current project used a multi-dimensional approach to examine the types, numbers, and domains in which goals are generated, comparing individuals with MDD with individuals with remitted depression, and never-depressed controls. In addition, we examined possible mechanisms that may mediate the relationship between depressive status and goal generation. Surprisingly, results suggested little group difference in the types of goals or subjective ratings of goals that were generated. Instead, we suggest that cognitive and behavioral aspects of motivation may underlie an individual's efficacy of achieving goals. Limitations and future directions are discussed.

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