Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Psychology


Clinical Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 37 pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Elana Gordis

Committee Members

Leslie Halpern


adolescence, community violence exposure, depression, emotion regulation, family stability, Depression in adolescence, Emotions in adolescence, Families, Violence, Self-control

Subject Categories



Family stability is an important contributor to children’s development and adjustment. The current study examines how emotion regulation and community violence exposure may jointly moderate the relationship between family stability and depressive symptoms within youth from a high-risk (e.g., low-income, high crime) community. Participants (N = 49) completed self-report questionnaires assessing their stability of family activities, use of different emotion regulation strategies, exposure to community violence, and experience of depressive symptoms. Results indicated a significant three-way interaction among family stability, emotion regulation, and community violence exposure in accounting for depressive symptoms. Greater family stability generally predicted fewer depressive symptoms; however, at high values of community violence exposure and low values of emotion regulation strategies, the relationship reversed and greater family stability predicted greater report of depressive symptoms. The results of this study provide support for a generally protective effect of family stability against depression, suggesting targeted interventions to increase family stability may prove beneficial. However, the results also suggest relationships among children’s external environments, internal regulatory processes, and adjustment are complex and require further investigation.

Included in

Psychology Commons