Category: ADHD - Adult

PS3- #A25 - ADHD, Impairment, and Negative Self-Beliefs Predict Depression Among Pregnant Women

Friday, Nov 17
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: ADHD - Adult | Adult Depression | Cognitive Schemas / Beliefs

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increases risk for depression among adults (Barkley, 2008). One population that may experience a twofold risk for depression is pregnant women with high levels of ADHD symptoms. Given that rates of depression are higher among pregnant women compared to same-aged, non-pregnant women (Borri et al., 2008), identifying risk factors for depression is an important goal in this population. One potential risk factor for depression in women with ADHD is negative beliefs about the self. Low self-esteem has been shown to be a strong predictor of depression in non-ADHD samples (Sowislo et al., 2014); moreover, adults with higher levels of ADHD symptoms report significantly lower levels of self-esteem compared to their peers (Shaw-Zirt et al., 2005). Establishing whether negative beliefs about the self predict depression beyond ADHD symptoms will determine whether these beliefs are an important treatment target in this population. The aim of the current study is to test whether negative beliefs about the self predicts depression over and above ADHD symptoms in a sample of pregnant women (N = 250; M age = 28.08; SD = 5.4). Further, given that high levels of ADHD symptoms have been associated with greater daily life impairments among pregnant women (Eddy et al., in press) which may increase vulnerability to depression, analyses will control for daily life impairment. The ADHD Total scale of the Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scale (CAARS; Conners et al., 1999) was used to measure ADHD symptoms and the Problems with Self Concept scale of the CAARS was used to assess negative beliefs about the self. Symptoms of depression were measured using a brief version of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2; Kroenke et al., 2003). Daily life impairment was measured using the Barkley Functional Impairment Rating Scale (BFIS; Barkley, 2011). A hierarchical regression was conducted with depression as the dependent variable, ADHD symptoms, and daily life impairment entered in the first step; problems with self concept was entered in the second step. Together, the predictors accounted for 33% of the variance in depression, F (3, 128) = 20.70, R2 = .33, p < .001.  In the final model, only problems with self concept significantly predicted depression, β = .47, p < .001.  These results suggest negative beliefs about the self are associated with depression among pregnant women, beyond the impact of ADHD symptoms and daily life impairment. It may be important to target not only ADHD symptoms and impairments in daily life, but also negative beliefs about the self in order to prevent or treat depression in adult pregnant women with high levels of ADHD symptoms. Additional treatment implications and research directions will be discussed. 

Laura D. Eddy

Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student
Virginia Commonwealth University
Southern Pines, North Carolina

Heather A. Jones

Assistant Professor of Psychology
Virginia Commonwealth University

Stephanie A. Wilson

Virginia Commonwealth University

Amanda M. Parks

Doctoral Student
Virginia Commonwealth University

Alfonso L. Floyd

Doctoral Student
Virginia Commonwealth University