Extraversion and interpersonal support as risk, resource, and protective factors in the prediction of unipolar mood and anxiety disorders.

Allison Metts, Richard Zinbarg, Constance Hammen, Susan Mineka, Michelle G. Craske*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Whereas there is extensive research on factors that contribute to vulnerability for depression and anxiety, research on how to promote mental health or offset risk effects in individuals likely to develop these disorders is lacking. Resilience models focus on risk, resource, and protective factors and their relationships. The current longitudinal study evaluated whether extraversion and interpersonal support functioned in resource or protective roles in relation to unipolar mood disorder (UMD), anxiety disorder (AD), and comorbid diagnoses. Data from 534 adolescents over a 3-year period were examined in a series of survival analyses to predict future disorder onset. The linear effect of extraversion significantly interacted with neuroticism predicting UMD diagnoses with extraversion conferring protection and introversion conferring risk at high levels of neuroticism. The quadratic effect of extraversion significantly interacted with neuroticism predicting AD and comorbid diagnoses such that extraversion escalated risk for diagnoses at high levels of neuroticism. The quadratic effect of extraversion was significant in comorbidity models, demonstrating increased risk as one progresses from slight extraversion to extreme introversion, independent of neuroticism. Interpersonal support significantly predicted UMD, AD, and comorbid diagnoses in an approximately linear fashion. Specificity tests indicated that these effects remained when including the other diagnosis in each model. Findings suggest the value of attending to extraverted traits and encouraging social connection regardless of risk status in prevention and treatment approaches. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved) General Scientific Summary: Resource and protective factors are components of resilience that can promote mental health regardless of risk and offset the effects of risk factors for psychopathology, respectively. This study suggests that interpersonal support is beneficial independent of neuroticism risk for unipolar mood disorder, anxiety disorder, and comorbid depression and anxiety onsets in adolescents. Extraversion shows differential effects depending on outcomes with evidence for attenuation of neuroticism risk in the prediction of unipolar mood disorders, escalation of risk at high levels of neuroticism in the prediction of anxiety disorders and comorbid depression and anxiety, and an increase in risk independent of neuroticism for comorbid depression and anxiety. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-59
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Volume130
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • protection
  • resource
  • risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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