A longitudinal examination of stress generation in depressive and anxiety disorders.

Amanda A. Uliaszek*, Richard E. Zinbarg, Susan Mineka, Michelle G. Craske, James W. Griffith, Jonathan M. Sutton, Alyssa Epstein, Constance Hammen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


The current study compared two competing theories of the stress generation model of depression (stress causation vs. stress continuation) using interview-based measures of episodic life stress, as well as interpersonal and noninterpersonal chronic life stress. We also expanded on past research by examining anxiety disorders as well as depressive disorders. In addition, we examined the role of neuroticism and extraversion in these relationships. Participants were 627 adolescents enrolled in a two-site, longitudinal study of risk factors for depressive and anxiety disorders. Baseline and follow-up assessments were approximately one year apart. Results supported the stress causation theory for episodic stress generation for anxiety disorders, with neuroticism partially accounting for this relationship. The stress causation theory was also supported for depression, but only for more moderate to severe stressors; neuroticism partially accounted for this relationship as well. Finally, we found evidence for interpersonal and noninterpersonal chronic life stress continuation in both depressive and anxiety disorders. The present findings have implications regarding the specificity of the stress generation model to depressive disorders, as well as variables involved in the stress generation process. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-15
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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