Expanding stress generation theory: test of a transdiagnostic model.
ABSTRACT Originally formulated to understand the recurrence of depressive disorders, the stress generation hypothesis has recently been applied in research on anxiety and externalizing disorders. Results from these investigations, in combination with findings of extensive comorbidity between depression and other mental disorders, suggest the need for an expansion of stress generation models to include the stress generating effects of transdiagnostic pathology as well as those of specific syndromes. Employing latent variable modeling techniques to parse the general and specific elements of commonly co-occurring Axis I syndromes, the current study examined the associations of transdiagnostic internalizing and externalizing dimensions with stressful life events over time. Analyses revealed that, after adjusting for the covariation between the dimensions, internalizing was a significant predictor of interpersonal dependent stress, whereas externalizing was a significant predictor of noninterpersonal dependent stress. Neither latent dimension was associated with the occurrence of independent, or fateful, stressful life events. At the syndrome level, once variance due to the internalizing factor was partialed out, unipolar depression contributed incrementally to the generation of interpersonal dependent stress. In contrast, the presence of panic disorder produced a "stress inhibition" effect, predicting reduced exposure to interpersonal dependent stress. Additionally, dysthymia was associated with an excess of noninterpersonal dependent stress. The latent variable modeling framework used here is discussed in terms of its potential as an integrative model for stress generation research.
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Article: Introduction to the special issueAustralian Journal of Psychology 06/2014; 66(2). · 1.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Predictors of depressive symptoms may differ before and after the first onset of major depression due to stress sensitization. Dependent stressors, or those to which characteristics of individuals contribute, have been shown to predict depressive symptoms in youth. The current study sought to clarify how stressors' roles may differ before and after the first depressive episode. Adolescents (N = 382, aged 11 to 15 at baseline) were assessed at baseline and every 3 months over the course of 2 years with measures of stressors and depressive symptoms. Semi-structured interviews were conducted every 6 months to assess for clinically significant depressive episodes. Hierarchical linear modeling showed a significant interaction between history of depression and idiographic fluctuations in dependent stressors to predict prospective elevations of symptoms, such that dependent stressors were more predictive of depressive symptoms after onset of disorder. Independent stressors predicted symptoms, but the strength of the association did not vary by depression history. These results suggest a synthesis of dependent stress and stress sensitization processes that might maintain inter-episode depressive symptoms among youth with a history of clinical depression.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 08/2014; · 3.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Purpose Classification is the cornerstone of clinical diagnostic practice and research. However, the extant psychiatric classification systems are not well supported by research evidence. In particular, extensive comorbidity among putatively distinct disorders flags an urgent need for fundamental changes in how we conceptualize psychopathology. Over the past decade, research has coalesced on an empirically based model that suggests many common mental disorders are structured according to two correlated latent dimensions: internalizing and externalizing. Methods We review and discuss the development of a dimensional-spectrum model which organizes mental disorders in an empirically based manner. We also touch upon changes in the DSM-5 and put forward recommendations for future research endeavors. Results Our review highlights substantial empirical support for the empirically based internalizing–externalizing model of psychopathology, which provides a parsimonious means of addressing comorbidity. Conclusions As future research goals, we suggest that the field would benefit from: expanding the meta-structure of psychopathology to include additional disorders, development of empirically based thresholds, inclusion of a developmental perspective, and intertwining genomic and neuroscience dimensions with the empirical structure of psychopathology.Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 01/2015; 50(3). · 2.58 Impact Factor