Negative cognitive style and cortisol recovery accentuate the relationship between life stress and depressive symptoms

Meghan E. Quinn*, Kathryn E. Grant, Emma K. Adam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

When exposed to stressful life events, a significant number of adolescents will experience depressive symptoms. One model of depression suggests that individuals with a negative cognitive style are most vulnerable to depression following life stress. Alternatively, altered activation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis may explain vulnerability to depression following life stress. Each of these models plausibly explains the emergence of depressive symptoms during adolescence and have been investigated largely independently. The current study recruited a sample of urban adolescents (N = 179) to evaluate whether cortisol response to a laboratory stress induction and negative cognitive style are related and whether they independently interact with exposure to stressful life events to predict symptoms of depression. Negative cognitive style was not associated with cortisol response to the laboratory stressor. Rather, negative cognitive style and cortisol recovery independently interacted with stressful life events to predict current symptoms of depression. Results support a heterogeneous etiology of depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-127
Number of pages9
JournalStress
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2018

Keywords

  • Cortisol
  • adolescence
  • depression
  • life stress
  • negative cognitive style

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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