Date of Graduation

Spring 2023


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Amber Abernathy


Depression has long been a focused topic in the world of clinical psychology. While the exact nature of what drives an individual into depression has been difficult to determine, new at-risk populations are emerging every day, giving clinicians and businesses alike the opportunity to monitor their clients/workers health and stability more closely. The current study aims to examine the connections between individuals born into low resource environments and the likelihood of them taking on high-risk professions later in life. These high-risk professions are thought to be nurturing grounds for depressive symptoms when compared to lower risk professions. The current study’s theory is that individuals who are born into low resource environments are more likely to develop risky behaviors. The presence of these risky behaviors is accounted for by an increase in the personality trait of impulsivity, which can then be further divided into functional and dysfunctional impulsivity. The facets of functional vs dysfunctional impulsivity are theorized to be the dividing factor of whether these individuals develop more severe depressive symptoms or have an increased capacity to cope with and overcome depressive symptoms. The aim of this study is to determine the importance of functional and dysfunctional impulsivity for the purpose of proactive clinical treatment.


depression, impulsivity, risk-taking, risky-professions, socioeconomic status

Subject Categories

Other Mental and Social Health


© Weston David Phipps

Open Access