The Interaction Between Self-Regulation and Motivation Prospectively Predicting Problem Behavior in Adolescence

Jessica D. Rhodes, Craig R. Colder, Elisa M. Trucco, Carolyn Speidel, Larry W. Hawk, Liliana J. Lengua, Rina Das Eiden, William Wieczorek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

A large literature suggests associations between self-regulation and motivation and adolescent problem behavior; however, this research has mostly pitted these constructs against one another or tested them in isolation. Following recent neural-systems based theories (e.g., Ernst & Fudge, 2009), the present study investigated the interactions between self-regulation and approach and avoidance motivation prospectively predicting delinquency and depressive symptoms in early adolescence. The community sample included 387 adolescents aged 11 to 13 years old (55% female; 17% minority). Laboratory tasks were used to assess self-regulation and approach and avoidance motivation, and adolescent self-reports were used to measure depressive symptoms and delinquency. Analyses suggested that low levels of approach motivation were associated with high levels of depressive symptoms, but only at high levels of self-regulation (p =.01). High levels of approach were associated with high levels of rule breaking, but only at low levels of self-regulation (p <.05). These findings support contemporary neural-based systems theories that posit integration of motivational and self-regulatory individual differences via moderational models to understand adolescent problem behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)681-692
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Volume42
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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