2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Personality, Mood, and Life Events
Paul R. Witte*, Jordan M. Constance, Peter Ruberton, Sara Bozeman, Jennifer Schmidt, Nicole Sharp, Saed Hill, and Nick Boice
Dr. Jeffrey Vittengl, Faculty Mentor

Recent research suggests that over-responsiveness of the behavioral activation system (BAS), a biobehavioral personality dimension, to achieving positive life events may promote manic symptoms (Johnson et al., 2000, 2008). Additionally, depressive symptoms, in many ways opposite to manic symptoms, may be connected to over-responsiveness of the behavioral inhibition system (BIS) to negative life events (Alloy et at., 2008; Hundt et al., 2007). Synthesizing these ideas, we tested the hypothesis that under-responsiveness of the BAS to positive, and over-responsiveness of the BIS to negative, self-caused life events predicts higher depression. Undergraduates (N=146) completed questionnaires longitudinally. BAS/BIS scores and life events predicted depression as expected, but BAS scores did not interact with the environment to predict depressive symptoms, and negative life events predicted depressive symptoms only for participants with low (not high) BIS scores. Our results suggest that personality and life events may interact differently to produce manic vs. depressive symptoms.

Keywords: Clinical Psychology, Personality Dimensions, Life Events, Depression

Topic(s):Psychology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 3-2
Location: SUB-GEO
Time: 4:15

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