Category: Comorbidity - Anxiety and Other
Keywords: Comorbidity | Longitudinal | Mediation / Mediators
Presentation Type: Symposium
There has been great attention to high comorbidity between depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and how the two disorders are distinct (e.g., Moffitt et al., 2007). One novel way to tackle this question is using ecologically valid data to examine what types of daily emotional experiences contribute to maintenance and sequential comorbidity of depressive and GAD symptoms. Such research would also add to the limited existing research on daily affect dynamics in depression and GAD. The current study aimed to fill this gap by examining the mediating role of daily affect in the relationship between early and later depression/GAD symptoms. Data was from the wave 2 (2004-2006) and 3 (2013-2014) of the Midlife in the United States study. 1,517 adults (56% female, 93% White) participated. At each wave, depression and GAD symptoms were assessed. Daily assessment occurred 1.8 years after wave 2, over 8 days. Once each day, negative (NA) and positive affect (PA), stressors, and positive events for the day were assessed. Multilevel modeling was used to obtain mean NA, mean PA, NA reactivity to a stressor, and PA reactivity to a positive event. NA and PA variability were also computed using mean squared successive differences over the 8 days. Mediational analyses were run using the PROCESS (Hayes, 2015). Results indicated partial mediation for all models. High mean NA, low mean PA, and high PA variability mediated the maintenance of depressive symptoms over 10 years. High NA reactivity, low NA variability, and high PA variability mediated the maintenance of GAD symptoms. When sequential comorbidity was examined, low mean PA mediated the comorbidity between early GAD and later depressive symptoms. The comorbidity between early depressive and later GAD symptoms was mediated by high NA reactivity, low NA variability, and high PA variability. Results suggest that daily emotional processes are involved in the long-term maintenance of depression/GAD symptoms, and higher reactivity to stressors and lower day-to-day fluctuations in negative emotions are more related to the development of GAD than depression. These daily emotional experiences might be fruitful treatment targets.
The Pennsylvania State University
Saturday, November 18
1:45 PM – 3:15 PM
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