Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-xtgtn Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-21T00:08:41.044Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Testing explanatory models of the interplay between depression, neuroticism, and stressful life events: a dynamic trait-stress generation approach

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 October 2019

Brandon L. Goldstein*
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, NY, USA Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, CT, USA
Greg Perlman
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Stony Brook Medicine, NY, USA
Nicholas R. Eaton
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, NY, USA
Roman Kotov
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, NY, USA Department of Psychiatry, Stony Brook Medicine, NY, USA
Daniel N. Klein
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, NY, USA
*
Author for correspondence: Brandon L. Goldstein, E-mail: brandon.goldstein@stonybrook.edu

Abstract

Background

Classic conceptual frameworks explaining the relationship of personality traits to depression include the precursor and predisposition models. The former hypothesizes that depression is predicted by traits alone whereas the latter hypothesizes that stress, together with personality, predicts depression. Dynamic vulnerability models (DVM) expand on these perspectives by incorporating fluctuations in personality over time. The stress generation model provides an alternative view, positing that depression generates stress, creating a self-perpetuating cycle. However, these conceptual models are rarely directly compared.

Method

We tested these models, focusing on neuroticism and stressful life events that the participant may have contributed to, using path analysis in a sample of 550 never-depressed, adolescent females assessed five times over 3 years.

Results

A dynamic precursor model with stress generation was best supported. For the precursor component, neuroticism predicted subsequent depression across four assessment intervals. For the dynamic trait component, stressful life events predicted subsequent neuroticism at three of four intervals. Finally, in line with stress generation, depression consistently predicted subsequent stressful life events, and life events then predicted depression.

Conclusions

Finding support for the DVM is noteworthy, as this is the first comprehensive test of this model. Moreover, results supported integrating stress generation with trait vulnerability. Continued use of integrated approaches and refining the statistical implementation of these theories is necessary to advance understanding of the development of depression.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Brown, GW and Harris, T (1978) Social Origins of Depression: A Study of Psychiatric Disorder in Women. London: Travistock Publications Limited.Google Scholar
Cannon, DS, Tiffany, ST, Coon, H, Scholand, MB, McMahon, WM and Leppert, MF (2007) The PHQ-9 as a brief assessment of lifetime major depression. Psychological Assessment 19, 247251. https://doi.org/10.1037/1040-3590.19.2.247.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Davila, J, Hammen, C, Burge, D, Paley, B and Daley, SE (1995) Poor interpersonal problem solving as a mechanism of stress generation in depression among adolescent women. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 104, 592600.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Dougherty, LR, Klein, DN, Durbin, CE, Hayden, EP and Olino, TM (2010) Temperamental positive and negative emotionality and children's depressive symptoms: a longitudinal prospective study from age three to age ten. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 29, 462488. https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.2010.29.4.462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dougherty, LR, Klein, DN and Olino, TM (2018) Depression in children and adolescents. In Hunsley, J and Mash, E (eds), A Guide to Assessments That Work. New York: Oxford University Press New York, pp. 99130.Google Scholar
Durbin, CE and Hicks, BM (2014) Personality and psychopathology: a stagnant field in need of development. European Journal of Personality 28, 362386. https://doi.org/10.1002/per.1962.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hakulinen, C, Elovainio, M, Pulkki-Råback, L, Virtanen, M, Kivimaki, M and Jokela, M (2015) Personality and depressive symptoms: individual participant meta-analysis of 10 cohort studies. Depression and Anxiety 32, 461470. https://doi.org/10.1002/da.22376.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hammen, C (1991) Generation of stress in the course of unipolar depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 100, 555561.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hammen, C (2005) Stress and depression. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology 1, 293319. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.1.102803.143938.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hankin, BL, Kassel, JD and Abela, JRZ (2005) Adult attachment dimensions and specificity of emotional distress symptoms: prospective investigations of cognitive risk and interpersonal stress generation as mediating mechanisms. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 31, 136151.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Headey, B and Wearing, A (1989) Personality, life events, and subjective well-being: toward a dynamic equilibrium model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57, 731739. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.57.4.731.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Holahan, CJ, Moos, RH, Holahan, CK, Brennan, PL and Schutte, KK (2005) Stress generation, avoidance coping, and depressive symptoms: a 10-year model. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 73, 658666. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.73.4.658.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hooper, D, Coughlan, J and Mullen, MR (2008) Structural equation modelling: guidelines for determining model fit. Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods 6, 5360.Google Scholar
Jeronimus, BF, Ormel, J, Aleman, A, Penninx, BWJH and Riese, H (2013) Negative and positive life events are associated with small but lasting change in neuroticism. Psychological Medicine 43, 24032415. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291713000159.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jeronimus, BF, Riese, H, Sanderman, R and Ormel, J (2014) Mutual reinforcement between neuroticism and life experiences: a five-wave, 16-year study to test reciprocal causation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 107, 751764. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0037009.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jeronimus, BF, Kotov, R, Riese, H and Ormel, J (2016) Neuroticism's prospective association with mental disorders halves after adjustment for baseline symptoms and psychiatric history but the adjusted association hardly decays with time: a meta-analysis on 59 longitudinal/prospective studies with 443313 participants. Psychological Medicine 46, 28832906. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291716001653.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
John, OP and Srivastava, S (1999) The big five trait taxonomy: history, measurement, and theoretical perspectives. In Pervin, L and John, OP (eds), Handbook of Personality: Theory and Research. New York: Guilford, pp. 102138.Google Scholar
Kaufman, J, Birmaher, B, Brent, D, Rao, U, Flynn, C, Moreci, P and Ryan, N (1997) Schedule for affective disorders and schizophrenia for school-age children-present and lifetime version (K-SADS-PL): initial reliability and validity data. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 36, 980988.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kendler, KS, Karkowski, LM and Prescott, CA (1999) Causal relationship between stressful life events and the onset of major depression. American Journal of Psychiatry 156, 837841.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kendler, KS, Gardner, CO and Prescott, CA (2002) Toward a comprehensive developmental model for major depression in women. American Journal of Psychiatry 159, 11331145. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.159.7.1133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kendler, KS, Kuhn, J and Prescott, CA (2004) The interrelationship of neuroticism, sex, and stressful life events in the prediction of episodes of major depression. American Journal of Psychiatry 161, 631636. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.161.4.631.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kendler, KS, Gatz, M, Gardner, CO and Pedersen, NL (2006) Personality and major depression: a Swedish longitudinal, population-based twin study. Archives of General Psychiatry 63, 11131120. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.63.10.1113.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kercher, AJ, Rapee, RM and Schniering, CA (2009) Neuroticism, life events and negative thoughts in the development of depression in adolescent girls. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 37, 903915. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-009-9325-1.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kessler, RC (1997) The effects of stressful life events on depression. Annual Review of Psychology 48, 191214. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.48.1.191.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Klein, DN, Kotov, R and Bufferd, SJ (2011) Personality and depression: explanatory models and review of the evidence. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology 7, 269295. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032210-104540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kotov, R, Gamez, W, Schmidt, F and Watson, D (2010) Linking ‘big’ personality traits to anxiety, depressive, and substance use disorders: a meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin 136, 768821. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0020327.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Krueger, RF and Tackett, JL (2003) Personality and psychopathology: working toward the bigger picture. Journal of Personality Disorders 17, 109128.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kushner, SC, Bagby, RM and Harkness, KL (2017) Stress generation in adolescence: contributions from Five-Factor Model (FFM) personality traits and childhood maltreatment. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment 8, 150161. https://doi.org/10.1037/per0000194.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Liu, RT and Alloy, LB (2010) Stress generation in depression: a systematic review of the empirical literature and recommendations for future study. Clinical Psychology Review 30, 582593. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2010.04.010.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Loehlin, JC (1998) Latent variable Models: An introduction to Factor, Path, and Structural Analysis. Mahwah, NJ, US: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
Magnus, K, Diener, E, Fujita, F and Pavot, W (1993) Extraversion and neuroticism as predictors of objective life events: a longitudinal analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 65, 10461053. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.65.5.1046.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Muthén, L and Muthén, B (2017) Mplus User's Guide (Version 8.0). Mplus User's Guide, 7th Edn. Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
Naragon-Gainey, K, Gallagher, MW and Brown, TA (2013) Stable ‘trait’ variance of temperament as a predictor of the temporal course of depression and social phobia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 122, 611620. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0032997.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nelson, BD, Perlman, G, Klein, DN, Kotov, R and Hajcak, G (2016) Blunted neural response to rewards as a prospective predictor of the development of depression in adolescent girls. American Journal of Psychiatry 173, 12231230. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.15121524.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ormel, J, Oldehinkel, AJ and Brilman, EI (2001) The interplay and etiological continuity of neuroticism, difficulties, and life events in the etiology of major and subsyndromal, first and recurrent depressive episodes in later life. American Journal of Psychiatry 158, 885891. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.158.6.885.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ormel, J, Jeronimus, BF, Kotov, R, Riese, H, Bos, EH, Hankin, B, Rosmalen, JGM and Oldehinkel, AJ (2013) Neuroticism and common mental disorders: meaning and utility of a complex relationship. Clinical Psychology Review 33, 686697. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2013.04.003.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Roberts, BW and DelVecchio, WF (2000) The rank-order consistency of personality traits from childhood to old age: a quantitative review of longitudinal studies. Psychological Bulletin 126, 325. https://doi.org/10.1037//0033-2909.126.1.3.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rohde, P, Lewinsohn, PM and Seeley, JR (1997) Comparability of telephone and face-to-face interviews in assessing axis I and II disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry 154, 15931598.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rudolph, KD, Hammen, C, Burge, D, Lindberg, N, Herzberg, D and Daley, SE (2000) Toward an interpersonal life-stress model of depression: the developmental context of stress generation. Development and Psychopathology 12, 215234.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ruscio, AM (2019) Normal versus pathological mood: implications for diagnosis. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology 15, 179205.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Salk, RH, Hyde, JS and Abramson, LY (2017) Gender differences in depression in representative national samples: meta-analyses of diagnoses and symptoms. Psychological Bulletin 143, 783822.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Spinhoven, P, Roelofs, K, Hovens, JG, Elzinga, BM, van Oppen, P, Zitman, FG and Penninx, BW (2011) Personality, life events and the course of anxiety and depression. European Journal of Personality 25, 443452. https://doi.org/10.1002/per.808.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stroud, CB, Sosoo, EE and Wilson, S (2015) Normal personality traits, rumination and stress generation among early adolescent girls. Journal of Research in Personality 57, 131142. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2015.05.002.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Swartz, JR, Williamson, DE and Hariri, AR (2015) Developmental change in amygdala reactivity during adolescence: effects of family history of depression and stressful life events. American Journal of Psychiatry 172, 276283. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.14020195.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Uliaszek, AA, Zinbarg, RE, Mineka, S, Craske, MG, Griffith, JW, Sutton, JM, Epstein, A and Hammen, C (2012) A longitudinal examination of stress generation in depressive and anxiety disorders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 121, 415. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0025835.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Vaidya, JG, Gray, EK, Haig, J and Watson, D (2002) On the temporal stability of personality: evidence for differential stability and the role of life experiences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 83, 14691484. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.83.6.1469.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Van Os, J and Jones, PB (1999) Early risk factors and adult person–environment relationships in affective disorder. Psychological Medicine 29, 10551067.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Watson, D, O'Hara, MW, Simms, LJ, Kotov, R, Chmielewski, M, McDade-Montez, EA, Gamez, W and Stuart, S (2007) Development and validation of the Inventory of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms (IDAS). Psychological Assessment 19, 253268. https://doi.org/10.1037/1040-3590.19.3.253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Watson, D, O'Hara, MW, Naragon-Gainey, K, Koffel, E, Chmielewski, M, Kotov, R, Stasik, SM and Ruggero, CJ (2012) Development and validation of new anxiety and bipolar symptom scales for an expanded version of the IDAS (the IDAS-II). Assessment 19, 399420. https://doi.org/10.1177/1073191112449857.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Watson, D, Nus, E and Wu, KD (2019) Development and validation of the Faceted Inventory of the Five-Factor Model (FI-FFM). Assessment 26, 1744. https://doi.org/10.1177/1073191117711022.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wetter, EK and Hankin, BL (2009) Mediational pathways through which positive and negative emotionality contribute to anhedonic symptoms of depression: a prospective study of adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 37, 507520. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-009-9299-z.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wichstrøm, L, Penelo, E, Rensvik Viddal, K, de la Osa, N and Ezpeleta, L (2018) Explaining the relationship between temperament and symptoms of psychiatric disorders from preschool to middle childhood: hybrid fixed and random effects models of Norwegian and Spanish children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 59, 285295. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.12772.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Williamson, DE, Birmaher, B, Ryan, ND, Shiffrin, TP, Lusky, JA, Protopapa, J and Brent, DA (2003) The stressful life events schedule for children and adolescents: development and validation. Psychiatry Research 119, 225241. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0165-1781(03)00134-3.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Supplementary material: File

Goldstein et al. supplementary material

Online Appendices

Download Goldstein et al. supplementary material(File)
File 117.5 KB