Category: Transdiagnostic

Symposium

Symposium 133 - Evaluating Prominent Theories Concerning the Role of Stress in Anxiety and Depression Trajectories

Sunday, November 19
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Location: Indigo Ballroom A, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Stress | Transdiagnostic | Risk / Vulnerability Factors
Presentation Type: Symposium

There is growing evidence that stressful life events play an important role in the development and course of anxiety and depression. Given this link and its implications for prevention and intervention work, it is crucial to better elucidate the nature of this relationship. Toward this end, numerous hypotheses have been set forth about the role of stress in anxiety and depression trajectories. However, many have not been subjected to rigorous scientific evaluation. This symposium features five presentations that test prominent hypotheses regarding anxiety and depression trajectories, with a particular focus on the role of stressful life events. The presentations report findings from 3 large studies (2 longitudinal studies and 1 epidemiological study) that utilized sophisticated statistical modeling. The first presentation (Long) tests the hypothesis that anxiety develops before depression in a sample of 610 youth. Results reveal the presence of transactional cascades of anxiety and depressive symptoms over time. Subsequent presentations build on this framework by examining the role of stress within this trajectory.  The second presentation (Schneider) examines the directionality of the link between stressful life events and anxiety symptoms in 528 youth from the same sample over a 1.5-year period, finding that stressful life events predicted greater subsequent anxiety (supporting the stress causation hypothesis) but that anxiety did not generate more stressful life events (failing to support the stress generation hypothesis), and explores how stressor type and emotion dysregulation influence this link. The third presentation (Kramer) tests diathesis-stress models involving neuroticism and several types of life stress in a second large longitudinal study of 547 adolescents predicting the onset of initial and recurrent depressive episodes. Using the same dataset, the fourth presentation (LeBeau) examines the conditioning-based model of social anxiety, testing the specificity of the link between social stress and the onset or exacerbation of social anxiety symptoms in 627 adolescents 1 year later. Finally, the fifth presentation (Bandoli) tests the stress sensitization hypothesis, exploring how early childhood maltreatment increases the risk of a major depressive episode and generalized anxiety disorder in 30,436 new U.S. soldiers. Together, these studies highlight the importance of stressful life events as a transdiagnostic risk factor for the subsequent emergence of anxiety and depression and provide examples of cutting edge study designs and analytic techniques that will be useful for the advancement of research in this area.

Learning Objectives:

Rebecca L. Schneider

Graduate Student
University of Colorado Boulder

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Rebecca Schneider

Richard LeBeau

Postdoctoral Fellow
UCLA

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Richard LeBeau

Richard E. Zinbarg

Professor
Northwestern University

Presentation(s):

    Send Email for Richard Zinbarg

    Erin Long

    Graduate Student
    University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign

    Presentation(s):

    Send Email for Erin Long

    Rebecca L. Schneider

    Graduate Student
    University of Colorado Boulder

    Presentation(s):

    Send Email for Rebecca Schneider

    Amanda Kramer

    Graduate Student
    Northwestern University

    Presentation(s):

    Send Email for Amanda Kramer

    Richard LeBeau

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    UCLA

    Presentation(s):

    Send Email for Richard LeBeau

    Gretchen Bandoli

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    University of California, San Diego

    Presentation(s):

    Send Email for Gretchen Bandoli


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