Term of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Jeffrey Klibert

Committee Member 1

Shauna Joye

Committee Member 2

Lawrence Locker


Depression is a prevalent public health problem, with approximately 6.4% of Americans suffering from the condition each year. Emerging adults are especially vulnerable to depression, as approximately 25% of individuals from age 18-25 have reported experiencing at least one depressive episode. Considering the literature is replete with studies examining etiological components of depression, it surprising that few studies have examined the role of intrapersonal resources in the onset and maintenance of depressive symptoms. The current study sought to investigate depression in the context of intrapersonal resources in two important ways. First, the study examined the protective qualities of intrapersonal resources such as self-compassion and savoring in the prediction of depression across time. Second, the current study sought to determine if self-compassion and savoring could mediate the relationship between stressful life events and depression. The study attempted to answer these questions through a two-wave longitudinal design. One hundred and forty-four undergraduate students (121 women, 22 men) participated in this study. Participants completed two online surveys, five weeks apart. The results indicated that self-compassion and savoring were significant predictors of depression over time. Furthermore, these variables significantly mediated the relationship between stressful life events and depression. Thus, the results provide some preliminary support for the protective qualities of self-compassion and savoring in terms of mitigating the onset of depression. A review and discussion of theoretical and practical considerations are offered.