Growing Old at a Young Age: Do Depressive Symptoms Result in a Shortened Time Perspective?
MetadataShow full item record
Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Psychology Honors Theses; 2009
Researchers have used Socioemotional Selectivity Theory (SST; Carstensen, 2006) to explain findings that older adults and younger adults with a known ending (e.g., college graduation) prefer to interact with familiar partners as compared to novel partners. According to SST, choosing familiar partners with whom to interact is indicative of increased preference of emotionally salient material resulting from a shortened time perspective. The objective of this study is to expand SST to a clinical sample by examining if the interpersonal orientation observed in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) can be explained by a shortened time perspective. A total of 97 undergraduate psychology students took part in this study. Participants were asked to choose between familiar or novel partners under various levels of time constraint in order to examine the impact of time perspective on preference for social partners. In addition, participants were asked to estimate their lifespan with reference to the average lifespan, as well as provide estimates for four other life events, to assess time perception. Participants also completed measures to assess depressive symptoms. The primary hypothesis was that individuals with high levels of depressive symptoms would show a more limited time perspective, compared to individuals with low depressive symptoms, and a preference for familiar partners under all time constraint conditions. Findings in this study may help to provide information in treating patients with MDD.