Semester of Graduation

Spring 2021

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Clinical Psychology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Children and adolescents experiencing anxiety and/or depression experience impairment in a myriad of domains and often engage in maladaptive strategies that then exacerbate or prolong their current symptomology. However, there is still a paucity of research examining anxiety and depression’s impact on executive functioning in children and adolescents, and existing research is muddled with problems in how researchers both define and choose to measure executive functioning. This study aims to clarify some of the conflicting research on anxiety and depression’s impact on executive functioning by using Barkley’s hybrid theory of executive functioning to determine whether anxiety and depressive symptomology add unique variance to deficits in executive functioning when attention-deficits are already accounted for. Participants were collected from an existing database of children and adolescents and their parents who presented at the Psychological Services Center on LSU’s campus and completed measures on anxiety, depression, and executive functioning deficits. The data was analyzed through six separate hierarchical regressions. It was hypothesized that anxiety and depressive symptoms would have a unique, positive relationship with youth’s self-regulation of emotions, and depressive symptoms would have unique, positive associations with youth’s self-management to time. Results indicated that no overall regression model was associated with deficits in executive functioning. However, anxiety symptoms were uniquely, positively related to deficits in youth’s self-regulation of emotions alone, and a diagnosis of an attention-deficit disorder trended towards a significant, positive relationship with youth’s deficits in self-restraint.

Committee Chair

Davis III, Thompson

Available for download on Tuesday, January 23, 2024

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