Keywords: Emotion | Ecological Momentary Assessment | Comorbidity
Presentation Type: Symposium
Structural models (e.g., tripartite model) provide a framework for delineating shared and unique components of depression and anxiety, finding that elevated negative affect (NA) is broadly associated with symptoms, whereas low positive affect (PA) is specific to depression and social anxiety (e.g., Mineka et al., 1999; Watson, 2009). However, these results are based on lab retrospective reports, so it is unknown how affect relates to symptoms of depression and anxiety across the varied dynamic contexts one experiences in daily life. Such knowledge is central for ecologically-valid conclusions about affect as a vulnerability for depression and anxiety.
This study examines affect and symptoms in daily life among 135 adults receiving psychological treatment. Following a baseline assessment of trait affect, participants submitted three daily EMA reports over 10 days, where NA, PA, and four symptoms (i.e., depression, social anxiety, panic, worry) were assessed with multiple items from standard measures. Multilevel modeling was used, controlling for linear effects of time and the time interval between EMA reports. Consistent with theory, baseline trait NA significantly predicted all four subsequent daily symptoms (ps<.001). Lagged models (current affect predicting symptoms 8, 16, and 24 hours later) found that NA predicted depression, panic, and worry up to 24 hours later, and PA predicted subsequent depression up to 8 hours later (ps<.05).
Overall, results suggest that affect is differentially associated with depression and anxiety in daily life, both concurrently and prospectively, and that the impact of affect on symptoms persists for up to 24 hours. Contrary to prior retrospective findings, daily positive affect was not associated with daily social anxiety. Implications for etiological models of depression and anxiety will be discussed, as well as applications to clinical settings.
The State University of New York at Buffalo
Saturday, November 18
10:15 AM – 11:45 AM
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