257170 Examining the effects of rumination and worry on the development of anxiety symptoms in adolescents experiencing stress

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 4:50 PM - 5:10 PM

Cara Young, PhD, RN, FNP-BC , School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Objectives: This study examined the relationships among worry, rumination, stressful life events and anxiety symptoms and each variable's unique contribution to anxiety symptoms. Engaging in ruminative thoughts has been associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms and the development of anxiety symptoms. However, conflicting evidence suggests worry as more predictive of anxiety symptoms than rumination. Methods: Secondary analyses were conducted with baseline data from a longitudinal pilot study with a community-based sample of 11-15 year old adolescents (N = 41). Variables and measures included: stressful life events (Adolescent Life Events Questionnaire), worry (Penn State Worry Questionnaire for Children), rumination (Ruminative Responses Scale) and anxiety symptoms (Beck's Anxiety Inventory). Results: Worry and rumination were positively associated (p<.001). Higher anxiety symptoms were associated with reports of higher worry (p=.009) and rumination (p<.001). The more stressful life events reported, the higher the reports of worry (p=.004), rumination (p<.001) and anxiety symptoms (p=.046). The final regression model explained approximately 47% of the variance in anxiety symptoms (Multiple R= 0.68, p = .004). After controlling for each of the study variables, only rumination (beta = .52, p = .010) demonstrated a unique contribution to the prevalence of anxiety symptoms. Conclusions: Findings suggest the unique role of rumination in the development of anxiety symptoms and highlight the need for further examination of the underlying mechanisms of rumination in both anxiety and depressive symptoms. Explanations of these mechanisms are critical steps in the development of targeted interventions for prevention and early intervention programs.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related nursing
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the relationships among stressful life events, rumination, worry and anxiety symptoms in adolescents. 2. Discuss the contributions of stressful life events, rumination and worry to anxiety symptoms in adolescents.

Keywords: Mental Health, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator of two funded research studies focusing on the development of mental health disorders in adolescents. In addition to my research expertise, I also have clinical training and experience working with adolescents and their families as a family nurse practitioner.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.