Specificity of Stress Generation

A Comparison of Adolescents with Depressive, Anxiety, and Comorbid Diagnoses

Published In: International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, v. 3, no. 4, Dec. 2010, p. 368-379

Posted on RAND.org on December 01, 2010

by Nicole P. Connolly, Nicole K. Eberhart, Constance L Hammen, Patricia A. Brennan

Read More

Access further information on this document at guilfordjournals.com

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Individuals with a history of depression experience more stress that is dependent in part on their own actions. However, it is unclear whether stress generation is a unique feature of depression, or a universal process that is also present in other types of psychopathology, such as anxiety disorders. The current study addressed this issue by comparing adolescents with a history of "pure" (i.e., non-comorbid) depressive disorders, pure anxiety disorders, comorbid depression and anxiety, and no disorder, on their levels of dependent and independent stress. Results indicated that adolescents with pure depression experienced more dependent stress than adolescents with pure anxiety, and adolescents with any internalizing diagnosis experienced more dependent stress than controls. Further, adolescents with comorbid depression and anxiety reported the highest levels of stress generation. The results suggest that while stress generation may be more strongly associated with depression than anxiety in adolescence, it is not unique to depression.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.