Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.706570
Title: Goal motivation and the self-regulation of goals in depression
Author: Dea, C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6057 8293
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2014
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Abstract:
The overarching aim of this thesis is to study features of goal motivation and the self-regulation of personal goals which have been implicated in the development and maintenance of depression (Trew, 2011; Van de Elzen & Macleod, 2006; Wrosch, Scheier, Carver and Schulz, 2003). This thesis consists of two main chapters: a narrative literature review and an empirical paper. Each chapter, together with how they are linked is outlined in this introductory chapter. Chapter 1 The context for the review is set by providing a brief background on the prevalence of depression and highlighting the present lack of research which examines goal motivation within depression. A brief overview of goal motivation and goal self-regulatory research and theory is provided to contextualise the review and to establish the need to extend our understandings of these areas within depression. Following this the narrative review is structured around its two main aims. Firstly, the review develops an understanding of depression from a dysregulation of goal adjustment perspective. This chapter of the review focuses on research which has examined two specific goal adjustment processes (i.e. goal disengagement and goal re-engagement) conceptualised by Wrosch, Scheier, Carver and Schulz (2003). This area of research has largely focused on an individuals’ ability to reduce their effort and commitment towards and unattainable goal and re-engage with alternate goals (Wrosch, et al., 2003; Wrosch, 2011). The review highlights the main findings which have suggested a relationship between maladaptive goal adjustment responses to unattainable goals and a vulnerability to depression (Wrosch, 2011). The review identifies limitations of previous research and identifies the need to undertake further research in clinical populations. This need is addressed as one the main aims of the empirical paper. The second aim of the review focuses on research which has examined the influence of rumination in mediating goal adjustment processes and depressive affect. The review discusses the findings from studies which have posited a pathway to depression linked to rumination, whereby this response impairs goal disengagement and prevents the re-engagement with more realistic and rewarding goals. The review identifies the limitations of these studies and suggests important areas for future research. Specifically, the need to address what may predispose individuals to adopt a maladaptive ruminative response to problematic goal attainment. The chapter concludes by presenting potential clinical implications from the studies in the treatment of depression and suggests directions for future research. Overall, the narrative review sets the context for the empirical paper, which follows in the subsequent chapter. Specifically, the need to undertake research within a clinical population examining whether distinct goal adjustment processes are a feature of depressed individuals in responding to unattainable goals. Also, the need to investigate additional processes which predispose individuals to respond ruminatively to problematic goal attainment and may potentially mediate the relationship between goal adjustment and depression. These issues are revisited and addressed within the empirical paper. Chapter 2 This chapter presents the empirical paper, which is intended for publication and is written in the style of the journal identified for submission (Motivation and Emotion). The empirical paper aims to further study goal motivation and the self-regulation of unattainable goals within depression. The paper presents the key theoretical models and research in the area of goal motivation. There is a discussion of goal motivation research which has linked depression to distinct types of goals, characterised by different types of goals (approach goals vs avoidance goals). Also, recent research is presented which has examined whether depression biases cognitive aspects of goal motivation, specifically goal expectancies (Dickson, Moberly & Kinderman, 2011). To date, there has been a paucity of research examining goal orientation and goal expectancies within depression, despite the proliferation of goal based therapies. An additional impetus outlined for further research within a clinical population is the mixed findings reported by previous studies regarding goal motivation within depression. Therefore, the present study examined the goal orientation (approach vs avoidance) and goal expectancies of depressed individuals relative to non-depressed individuals. Following this, the key theoretical models and research which have been linked to the self-regulation of unattainable goals is presented. The empirical paper attempted to build upon the understandings from the narrative review. Also, the study examined whether depressed and non-depressed individuals differ in their reporting of their goal adjustment tendencies. This was intended to identify if distinct goal adjustment processes are a feature of depressed individuals. The study attempts to identify processes which may predispose an individual to engage in maladaptive rumination in response to problematic goal attainment, which may mediate the relationship between goal adjustment and depression. Therefore, the present study aimed to establish whether metacognitive ruminative beliefs mediate the relationship between goal adjustment and depression. Previous research has suggested that these beliefs influence an individuals’ engagement in rumination in response to a stressor and have been implicated in depression (Moulds, Yap, Kerr, Williams & Kandris, 2010). A discussion of the present study findings is also presented which offers interpretations of the study results as well as their relevance to previous research, which has been undertaken. Methodological considerations of the study are discussed, alongside the clinical implications of the study findings and future directions for research. Summary In summary, this thesis aims to develop a greater understanding of depression from a goal motivation and goal regulation perspective. First, a narrative review presents two primary aims, (i) to provide an understanding of the dysregulation of goal adjustment processes (goal disengagement and goal re-engagement) in responding to an unattainable goal linked to depression (ii) the influence of rumination, in response to unattainable goals, as a vulnerability contributing to the maintenance and exacerbation of depressive mood, through disruption of goal adjustment processes. Second, an empirical paper presents three main aims (i) to examine the goal orientation (approach vs avoidance) of depressed and non-depressed individuals (ii) to examine the goal expectancies of depressed individuals compared to non-depressed individuals (iii) the goal adjustment tendencies of depressed compared to non-depressed individuals in responding to an unattainable goal and, (iv) the mediation of metacognitive ruminative beliefs upon goal adjustment and depression.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.706570  DOI: Not available
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