Acute HPA Axis Responses to Social Stress Longitudinally Predict Adolescent Girls’ Depressive Symptoms: The Moderating Role of Subjective Stress Responses Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Owens, Sarah
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Increases in interpersonal stress and depressive symptoms during adolescence have stimulated greater attention to stress response models of adolescent depression, but it remains unclear why only certain adolescents are vulnerable to the depressogenic effects of stress while others are not. The current study examined associations among experiences of interpersonal stress, affective reactivity, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity to an in-vivo psychosocial stressor as prospective predictors of depressive symptoms nine months later. Hypotheses were examined with a clinically oversampled group of 109 adolescent girls (aged 12-16) to ensure an examination of the widest possible range of prior life stress. Results indicate that adolescent girls who are most emotionally and physiologically reactive to stress and experience significant social stress are most likely to experience elevated levels of depressive symptoms longitudinally. Findings suggest that it may be critical to examine both physiological and affective stress responses when assessing risk for depression in adolescents.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Bauer, Daniel
  • Sheridan, Margaret
  • Prinstein, Mitchell J.
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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