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01-04-2015 | Uitgave 3/2015

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 3/2015

Stress Sensitivity Interacts with Depression History to Predict Depressive Symptoms Among Youth: Prospective Changes Following First Depression Onset

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 3/2015
Jessica R. Technow, Nicholas A. Hazel, John R. Z. Abela, Benjamin L. Hankin
Belangrijke opmerkingen
John R. Z. Abela is deceased.

Author Note

This research was supported in part by research grants from the Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression awarded to John R.Z. Abela, research grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (R03-MH 066845) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention awarded to Benjamin L. Hankin, and T32-MH 015442 from the National Institute of Mental Health supporting Nicholas A. Hazel.


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.

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