Stability of Retrospective Reports in Depression: Traumatic Events, Past Depressive Episodes, and Parental Psychopathology

Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Jordan Hall, Bldg. 420, Stanford, CA 94305-2130, USA.
Journal of Health and Social Behavior (Impact Factor: 2.72). 10/2002; 43(3):307-16. DOI: 10.2307/3090206
Source: PubMed


Research findings based on the retrospective reports of depressed individuals have long been held suspect because of possible negative reporting biases associated with depression. In the present study we assess the stability of retrospective reports of past traumatic events, past depressive episodes, parental depression, and parental substance abuse in a sample of 234 adults whose depression status changed over two assessments conducted one year apart. Depression status was found to affect reporting of number of past depressive episodes and past traumatic events, but not reporting of parental psychopathology. Implications of these findings are discussed for research that relies on the retrospective self-reports of depressed participants.

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Available from: Ian H Gotlib, Oct 03, 2015
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    • "This is the first study that examines personality in the context of current SI (past two weeks), a history of SI (but not in the past two weeks), and those who have never experienced SI within the last two weeks. This may allow a better understanding of the relationship between FFM characteristics and SI as negative affect, a process likely occurring for individuals who are recently contemplating suicide, may influence retrospective reporting (Haslam and Jayasinghe, 1995; Schraedley et al., 2002 "
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    ABSTRACT: Research has demonstrated an inconsistent relationship between suicide ideation and personality traits. This is the first study to empirically examine the relationship of the Five Factor Model of personality with current, past and no suicide ideation, and with the two interpersonal risk factors of suicide: thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness (Joiner, 2005). Results indicate that high neuroticism was associated with both current ideation and a history of suicide ideation and extraversion was associated with current ideation. Neuroticism was positively related to thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness, while extraversion was negatively related to these interpersonal predictors of suicide. Agreeableness was negatively related to thwarted belongingness but not perceived burdensomeness, indicating differentiated patterns of relationships between this personality domain and the two suicide constructs. Furthermore, these personality domains predicted 23.82% of variance for thwarted belongingness and 15.07% of the variance for perceived burdensomeness, above and beyond demographic variables associated with suicide ideation. This study, which was conducted with a college sample, demonstrates the potential benefit of identifying predispositional risk factors for suicide ideation and interpersonal predictors of suicide. This may have implications for the development of upstream preventative measures against suicide.
    Psychiatry Research 01/2015; 226(1). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2015.01.002 · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    • "There are a number of complicating factors such as whether the severity of PTSD symptoms leads to more or less accurate recall. Brewin (2011) suggests that increased symptoms may improve access to material in memory particularly with respect to events central in an individual's life, but reductions in symptoms may lead to forgetting (see Schraedley et al., 2002). Another complicating factor is that studies of delayed-onset PTSD indicate that memories of trauma can acquire characteristics at retrieval and can change during the course of PTSD treatment (Sutherland & Bryant, 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Herlihy and colleagues (current issue) review the literature on the characteristics of autobiographical memory in asylum seekers who are presenting evidence of their traumatic experiences in the immigration courts with a view to finding a safe haven. In this commentary, I briefly discuss how the quality of the memory report may influence reliability and credibility judgements in individuals whose memories may be subject to post-traumatic stress disorder. Copyright (c) 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Applied Cognitive Psychology 09/2012; 26(5). DOI:10.1002/acp.2868 · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    • "The second set of analyses involved estimating the effects of ACEs reported at Wave 1 on the three mental health outcomes assessed at Wave 2. Wave 2 mental health outcomes were used in an effort to minimize recall bias related to the selective memory of persons in depressed affective states for lifetime stressful events [34]. Three sets of regressions were performed. "
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    ABSTRACT: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been consistently linked to psychiatric difficulties in children and adults. However, the long-term effects of ACEs on mental health during the early adult years have been understudied. In addition, many studies are methodologically limited by use of non-representative samples, and few studies have investigated gender and racial differences. The current study relates self-reported lifetime exposure to a range of ACEs in a community sample of high school seniors to three mental health outcomes-depressive symptoms, drug abuse, and antisocial behavior-two years later during the transition to adulthood. The study has a two-wave, prospective design. A systematic probability sample of high school seniors (N = 1093) was taken from communities of diverse socioeconomic status. They were interviewed in person in 1998 and over the telephone two years later. Gender and racial differences in ACE prevalence were tested with chi-square tests. Each mental health outcome was regressed on one ACE, controlling for gender, race/ethnicity, and SES to obtain partially standardized regression coefficients. Most ACEs were strongly associated with all three outcomes. The cumulative effect of ACEs was significant and of similar magnitude for all three outcomes. Except for sex abuse/assault, significant gender differences in the effects of single ACEs on depression and drug use were not observed. However, boys who experienced ACEs were more likely to engage in antisocial behavior early in young adulthood than girls who experienced similar ACEs. Where racial/ethnic differences existed, the adverse mental health impact of ACEs on Whites was consistently greater than on Blacks and Hispanics. Our sample of young adults from urban, socio-economically disadvantaged communities reported high rates of adverse childhood experiences. The public health impact of childhood adversity is evident in the very strong association between childhood adversity and depressive symptoms, antisocial behavior, and drug use during the early transition to adulthood. These findings, coupled with evidence that the impact of major childhood adversities persists well into adulthood, indicate the critical need for prevention and intervention strategies targeting early adverse experiences and their mental health consequences.
    BMC Public Health 02/2007; 7(1):30. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-7-30 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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