Category: Adult Depression / Dysthymia
Client personality data are often helpful for examining risk for major depressive disorder (MDD). High levels of neuroticism and low levels of extraversion are risk factors for treatment resistant depression. The Behavioral Inhibition System/Behavioral Activation System (BIS/BAS) scale serves as another means of assessing personality, and captures information about individuals’ sensitivity to punishment and reward in their environment. A sample of college students (n = 284) completed the BIS/BAS scale as well as the Center for Epidemiological Studies’ Depression Scale (CES-D). A factor analysis of participants’ responses to the CES-D revealed five orthogonal factors, reflecting different classes of depressive symptomology consistent with diagnostic criteria for MDD. A correlational analysis was performed to examine the relationships between the subscales of the BIS/BAS scale and the five CES-D symptom classes. BIS scores were differentially related to the CES-D symptoms, with larger relationships for factors associated with general dysphoria and a lack of positive self-appraisals than for factors associated with negative social appraisals and physiological self-care. BAS Drive scores were significantly negatively associated with dysphoria and positive self-appraisal, but not other symptom classes. Likewise, BAS Reward Responsiveness scores were significantly negatively associated with dysphoria, positive self-appraisal, and focus, but not related to negative social appraisals or physiological self-care. The relationship between the BIS/BAS scale and the CES-D suggest that those with lower scores on reward responsiveness and drive and with higher sensitivity to punishment display more depressive symptoms on the CES-D, but in specific classes of MDD symptoms.