Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Amy L Gentzler

Committee Co-Chair

Amy L Gentzler

Committee Member

Kristin L Moilanen

Committee Member

Nick A Turiano


Much research exists on the importance of high-intensity pleasure and self-regulation predicting various outcomes in adolescence. Less well understood is how these constructs interact. The present study includes 116 adolescents (Mage = 15.50, 61.7% male) and a participating parent. The present studied investigated if self-regulation moderated the association between high- intensity pleasure and adolescent outcomes including depressive symptoms, substance use, interpersonal functioning, and academic functioning. Covarying age and gender, main and moderation effects were examined with hierarchical linear regression and logistic regression analyses. More high-intensity pleasure only predicted parent-rated adolescent interpersonal functioning. Self-regulation predicted less likelihood of alcohol use in the past three months and marginally predicted fewer number of substances tried, and significantly predicted fewer depressive symptoms, more frequent school-related positive events, and more frequent interpersonal positive events. Self-regulation moderated the negative association between high- intensity pleasure and interpersonal positive events so that those with less desire for novelty and excitement and more regulatory abilities had significantly more frequent positive events than those with fewer regulatory abilities. Although there were limited findings with only some main effects and three interactions, the findings indicate that it is important to consider both high- intensity pleasure and self-regulation because they predict adolescent outcomes in nuanced ways. Research should continue to study these important constructs to be better prepared to intervene with negative outcomes and enhance positive outcomes.