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Direct and Moderated Predictions to Late Adolescent Internalizing Symptoms from Emotionally Stressful Family Contexts. Joanna M. Chango Ann Spilker Joseph P. Allen Copies of this and related papers are available at: WWW.TEENRESEARCH.ORG. Overarching Question.

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Direct and Moderated Predictions to Late Adolescent Internalizing Symptoms from Emotionally Stressful Family Contexts

Joanna M. Chango

Ann Spilker

Joseph P. Allen

Copies of this and related papers are available at:WWW.TEENRESEARCH.ORG

overarching question
Overarching Question
  • What are the contributions of emotionally stressful family environments on late adolescent internalizing symptoms?
correlates and predictions
Correlates and predictions
  • Hopelessness depression (Gibb et al., 2001)
  • Internalizing symptomatology (McGee et al., 1997)
  • Low self-esteem (Tricket et al., 2011)
  • Anxious symptoms (Wright et al., 2009)
  • Longitudinal changes in childhood self-esteem and depressive symptoms (Kim & Cicchetti, 2006)
research question s
Research Question(s)
  • How do emotional neglect, abuse, and psychological control relate to anxiety, depressive symptoms, and self-worth in late adolescence?
sample
Sample
  • 173 Adolescents
  • Intensive Interviews and Observations with all parties
  • Assessed Annually, utilizing Ages 16-18
  • Equal numbers of Males and Females
  • Socio-economically Diverse (Median Family Income= $40- $60K)
  • Racially Diverse (31% African American; 69% European American)
  • Very low Attrition
emotionally stressful family context measures emotional neglect
Emotionally stressful family context measures: Emotional neglect
  • Self reports of emotional neglect from Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (Bernstein et al., 1994)
  • Age 16
  • Answer questions based on what it was like growing up in the teens’ family over past year
  • “People in my family felt close to one another; I felt loved” (reverse coded)
trait anxiety
Trait Anxiety
  • Self reports of general anxiety using the trait version of the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI; Spielberger, Gorsuch, Lushene, 1970)
  • Age 16 and 18
  • “I worry too much over something that doesn’t really matter”
  • “I feel difficulties are piling up so that I cannot overcome them”
predicting relative increases in anxiety from emotional neglect
Predicting Relative Increases in Anxiety from Emotional Neglect

Age 18

Age 16

β= .30***

Baseline Anxiety

Trait

Anxiety

β= .29***

Emotional Neglect

Gender

Total R2 = .19***

Income

social anxiety
Social Anxiety
  • Self reports of total social anxiety on the Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (LaGreca & Lopez, 1998)
  • Age 18 (general anxiety at 16)
  • “I get nervous when I meet new people”
  • “I only talk to people I know really well”
predicting relative increases in social anxiety from emotional neglect
Predicting Relative Increases In Social Anxiety from Emotional Neglect

Age 18

Age 16

β= .28***

Baseline Anxiety

Social Anxiety

β= .32***

Emotional Neglect

Gender

Total R2 = .18**

Income

self worth
Self Worth
  • Self reported self-worth on the Harter Self- Perception Profile for Adolescents (Harter, 1988)
  • Age 16 and 18
  • “Some people are often disappointed with themselves” vs. “Some people are often pretty pleased with themselves”
predicting relative decreases in self worth from emotional neglect
Predicting Relative Decreases in SelfWorth from Emotional Neglect

Age 18

Age 16

β= .54***

Baseline

Self Worth

Self Worth

β= -.25**

Emotional Neglect

Gender

Total R2 = .33***

Income

correlations among anxiety social anxiety and self worth
Correlations among anxiety, social anxiety, and self worth

Social Anxiety

β= -.49***

Self Worth

β= .62***

β= -.52***

Trait

Anxiety

depressive symptoms
Depressive Symptoms
  • Teens reported on their depressive symptoms using:
    • the Childhood Depression Inventory at age 16 (Kovacs & Beck, 1977)
    • The Beck Depression Inventory at age 18 (Beck & Steer, 1987)
predicting depressive symptoms from emotional neglect
Predicting Depressive Symptoms from Emotional Neglect

Age 18

Age 16

β= .26**

Baseline

Depressive Symptoms

Depressive Symptoms

NS

Emotional Neglect

Gender

Income

summary so far
Summary so far
  • Emotional neglect predicts:

Increased general anxiety and social anxiety

Decreased self worth

Does not predict depressive symptoms

diathesis stress models
Diathesis stress models

Diathesis:

Rejection Sensitivity

X

Stress:

Direct emotional stress

Depressive Symptoms

emotionally stressful family context measures emotional abuse
Emotionally stressful family context measures: Emotional abuse
  • Self reports of emotional abuse from Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (Bernstein et al., 1994)
  • Age 16
  • More direct in nature than emotional neglect
  • “People in my family called me things like stupid, lazy, or ugly”
individual diathesis rejection sensitivity
Individual diathesis: Rejection sensitivity
  • Teens reported on sensitivity to rejection on the Rejection Sensitivity Questionnaire (RSQ; Downey & Feldman, 1996)
  • Age 16
  • 18 hypothetical situations, indicate level of concern/anxiety about the outcome and the likelihood that the other would respond favorably
rejection sensitivity and emotional abuse interact to predict depressive symptoms
Rejection sensitivity and emotional abuse interact to predict depressive symptoms

Depressive Symptoms

Low emotional abuse

High emotional abuse

rejection sensitivity and emotional abuse interact to predict depressive symptoms1
Rejection sensitivity and emotional abuse interact to predict depressive symptoms

Depressive Symptoms

Emotional abuse predicts relative increases in depressive symptoms only for highly rejection sensitive teens

Low emotional abuse

High emotional abuse

emotionally stressful family context measures psychological control
Emotionally stressful family context measures: Psychological control
  • Father reports of psychological control vs. autonomy on the Childhood Report of Parenting Behavior Inventory (Schaefer, 1965; Schluderman & Schluderman, 1970)
  • Assessed at teen age 16; N= 83 fathers
  • “I am always telling my son/daughter how he/she should behave”
slide25

Rejection sensitivity and paternal psychological control interact to predict depressive symptoms

Depressive Symptoms

Low paternal psychological control

High paternal psychological control

slide26

Rejection sensitivity and paternal psychological control interact to predict depressive symptoms

Depressive Symptoms

Increases in depressive symptoms much more likely to occur for teens who experience high levels of psychological control and who are highly rejection sensitive

Low paternal psychological control

High paternal psychological control

limitations
Limitations
  • Mostly self report, non-causal
  • Multiple measures of stressful family environments/abuse exist- we only examine 3
  • Short time frame in adolescence, may be important to follow into adulthood
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Autonomy, a huge developmental challenge in adolescence, is being undermined
  • Diathesis stress model and hopelessness theories of depression (e.g., Abramson et al., 1989; Caspiet al., 2003; Metalsky & Joiner, 1992)
conclusions1
Conclusions

Lack of confidence in self and social situations

  • Neglect
  • Abuse and rejection sensitivity

Sad, down, possibly more severe depressogenic cognitions

acknowledgements
Acknowledgements
  • Thanks to my co-authors, Joe Allen Ph. D, and Ann Spilker
  • Thanks to all of my lab collaborators:

Kathleen McElhaney, Ph. D. Caroline White

Nell Manning, Ph. D Emily Marston, Ph.D

Erin Miga, Ph. D Dave Szwedo

Amanda Hare, Ph. D Megan Schad

ElieHessel Emily Loeb

Chris Hafen Barbara Oudekerk

  • I would also like to thank the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development for funding awarded to Joseph P. Allen, PI (Grant # 9R01HD058305-A11) to conduct and write-up this project.

Copies of this and related papers are available at:WWW.TEENRESEARCH.ORG