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06-03-2020 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 10/2020

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 10/2020

Reward Sensitivity, Cognitive Response Style, and Inflammatory Response to an Acute Stressor in Adolescents

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 10/2020
Daniel P. Moriarity, Tommy Ng, Erin E. Curley, Brae Anne McArthur, Lauren M. Ellman, Christopher L. Coe, Lyn Y. Abramson, Lauren B. Alloy
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Inflammation is gaining support as a biological mediator between stress and many negative outcomes that have heightened risk during adolescence (e.g., mood disorders). Thus, an important line of inquiry is evaluating whether risk factors for mood psychopathology also are associated with heightened inflammatory responses to stress during this developmental period. Two prominent risk factors that interact to predict mood psychopathology are reward sensitivity and perseverative cognitive response styles, which also have been associated with heightened inflammatory proteins. These factors could influence inflammation by synergistically amplifying stress reactivity. Ninety-nine late adolescents (Mage = 18.3 years, range = 15.6–21.9 years) completed measures of reward sensitivity, cognitive response style, and blood draws before and 60-min after a modified Trier Social Stress Task to determine levels of inflammation. Higher reward drive interacted with more perseverative response style ratios (rumination relative to distraction + problem-solving) to predict larger increases in interleukin-6 (a proinflammatory protein). Follow-up analyses found that reward drive interacted with all three components of the ratio to predict change in interleukin-6. Thus, these results suggest that high reward drive and perseverative cognitive response styles are associated with increased inflammatory response to social stress in adolescents, a potential physiological mechanism linking these risk factors to mood psychopathology during this developmental period.

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