270653 Unique contributions of stressful life events and cognitive vulnerabilities to the development of depressive symptoms in adolescents

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 9:30 AM - 9:50 AM

Cara Young, PhD, RN, FNP-BC , School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Mary S. Dietrich, PhD , Schools of Nursing and Medicine (Biostatistics & Psychiatry), Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center (Biostatistics), Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Background: Depressive disorders in adolescence are more prevalent than other pediatric conditions that have received substantial public health attention, such as asthma and diabetes Objectives of this study were 1) to describe baseline associations among stressful life events, cognitive vulnerabilities (i.e., dysfunctional attitudes, negative inferential style and ruminative response style) and depressive symptoms, and 2) to determine the unique contribution of cognitive vulnerabilities to depressive symptoms when adolescents experience stressful life events. 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). Standardized measures assessed stressful life events in four domains (family, romantic relationships, school and friends domains), dysfunctional attitudes, negative inferential style, ruminative response style and depressive symptoms. Results: Elevated depressive symptoms were associated with more stressful life events within each domain (all p<.05), more negative inferential styles (p<.001) and more ruminative response styles (p<.001). The final regression model explained approximately 63% of the variance in depressive symptoms (Multiple R=0.80, p=.005). After controlling for each of the study variables, stressful life events within the friend domain (beta= .37, p =.021) and ruminative response style (beta= .52, p=.010) demonstrated unique contributions to the prevalence of depressive symptoms. Conclusions: Findings indicate ruminative response style and friendship stressors may be particularly salient variables to target in adolescent depression prevention and early intervention programs. Prevention interventions developed within a public health nursing paradigm have the potential to significantly impact the mental health of our nation's youth.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related nursing
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe the relationships among adolescent stressful life events, cognitive vulnerabilities and depressive symptoms. 2.Discuss the contributions of stressful life events and cognitive vulnerabilities to depressive symptoms in adolescents.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Public Health Nursing

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.