Keywords: Longitudinal | Anxiety | Depression
Presentation Type: Symposium
Recent studies have suggested that neuroticism has unique relationships with depressive and anxiety diagnoses. Nevertheless, neuroticism as a construct contains definitional overlap with depressive and anxiety symptoms, and, thus, such an argument may be tautological in nature. In a nationally representative sample (N = 8,098), the current study examined (1) whether neuroticism is best defined by a single factor or multiple factors, (2) whether neuroticism factors relate to depressive and anxiety disorders concurrently, and (3) whether neuroticism factors longitudinally predict depressive and anxiety disorders when controlling for earlier depressive and anxiety disorders.
In a confirmatory analysis, results suggested that a one-factor model of neuroticism provided poor fit to the data. In subsequent exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, results showed that a three-factor model provided the most parsimonious and best fit to the data, including (1) an anxiety symptoms factor, (2) an irritable-volatile factor, and (3) an unhappy and unconfident factor. In structural equation models, each facet of neuroticism was modestly cross-sectionally associated with depressive and anxiety disorders. Additionally, the anxiety symptoms facet prospectively predicted the occurrence of anxiety disorders. By contrast, the irritable-volatile factor prospectively predicted the absence of anxiety disorders. None of the factors prospectively predicted depressive disorders.
These results provide support for the position that neuroticism represents a combination of multiple independent constructs that parallel anxiety, depression, and irritability-volatility. The findings further demonstrate that these facets of neuroticism hold differential predictive validity for anxiety and depressive disorders.
The Pennsylvania State University
Saturday, November 18
10:15 AM – 11:45 AM
Saturday, November 18
1:45 PM – 3:15 PM
Sunday, November 19
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
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