Category: Adult Depression / Dysthymia

PS2- #C68 - Social Class Mediates the Relationship Between Quality of Life and Depression and Anxiety Symptoms

Friday, Nov 17
9:45 AM – 10:45 AM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Assessment | Case Conceptualization / Formulation | College Students

Quality of life (QOL) and functional impairment (FI) have been linked to determining positive aspects of health (Altshuler, Mintz, & Leight, 2002; Endicott & Dorries, 2009). Depression and anxiety symptoms impair QOL and functioning (Becker, 2009; Cacilhas et al., 2009; Rosa et al., 2007; Sheehan, 2008, 2011). Social class may lead to differential impact that depression and anxiety have on QOL and FI. For example, college students coming from a lower socioeconomic status (SES) are more likely to screen positive for depression and anxiety. The extent that social class mediates the relationship between depressive and anxiety symptoms and QOL and FI is unknown. There are a number of factors that have been theorized to make up "social class" (i.e., family factors such as father and mother's employment status, income level and neighborhood factors such as neighborhood poverity level, educational level, and unemployment level). Understanding the role of social class will allow for more informed treatment decision-making. METHOD. In order to assess the mediating role of social class, a sample of 105 undergraduate students completed a survey assessing their QOL, FI, depression, and anxiety symptoms at two time points, a month apart. ANALYTIC PLAN. A latent class analysis using a cross-lagged panel design was ran in MPlus v.7.  First a latent construct of social class was created with family-level (i.e., type of house that the young adult grew up in, and their parents’ employment and educational levels) and neighborhood-level (i.e., poverty level of the neighborhood, average education level, and unemployment rate in the neighborhood where the young adults grew up) constructs. This allowed for a precise assessment of the variables that comprise “social class” based on existing theories. Second, a cross-lagged panel design wherein depression and anxiety symptoms at Time 1 was set to predict depression and anxiety symptoms and QOL and FI at Time 2. Further, the family level and neighborhood level latent classes were set to mediate these relationships. RESULTS. The within level LCA results revealed that for family-level factors, QOL predicts depression and anxiety symptoms, but not FI. QOL and FI were correlated with one another, and depression and anxiety were correlated with one another. Finally, family-level factors all represented the latent class. The between level LCA results revealed for neighborhood-level factors, family level factors predicts QOL, but not FI. And QOL and FI are not correlated with one another at the neighborhood level. Neighborhood poverty level, education level, unemployment level represented the neighborhood latent class. CONCLUSION. Social class appears to impact college students’ QOL more than their FI regardless of depression and anxiety symptoms. This suggests the need to consider social class factors for clients when making goals related to improving QOL, but may not be as helpful when making goals for improved functioning.

Michelle E. Roley-Roberts

Postdoctoral Researcher
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Columbus, Ohio

Hope E. Vaccaro

Undergraduate Research Assistant
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Jill A. Brown

Quantitative Data Analyst
University of Toledo

Joseph D. Hovey

Professor & Chair
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Edinburg, Texas