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 language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology|
|State||Published - Sep 2013|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology