The Effects of Stress on Comorbid Anxious and Depressive Symptoms : A Proposed Study
Boulton, Kennedy J.
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The proposed study extends previous literature on the relationship between temperamental vulnerabilities and the development of anxious symptoms, depressive symptoms, and comorbid anxious and depressive symptoms in the presence of stress. Children between the ages of 6 and 7 who are high in negative affect and their biological parents will be recruited for this study. Questionnaires and structured laboratory tasks will be used to measure positive affect, negative affect, effortful control, and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Structured interviews will be used to measure stressful life events. The study tests three main hypotheses: (1) at low levels of stress, children high in effortful control and negative affect are protected against increasing symptoms of anxiety and depression, (2) at high levels of stress, children high in effortful control and negative affect experience an increase in anxious and depressive symptoms over time, and (3) high levels of stress are linked to a larger increase in comorbid anxious and depressive symptoms than stress with anxious or depressive symptoms alone.