Differentiating anxiety and depression: a socioaffective tripartite model
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The current study tested a newly-developed socioaffective tripartite model that includes family processes as potential etiological contributors to internalizing symptoms, and tested experienced affect as a potential mediator in this model. As a corollary, the construct of family savoring of positive events was developed as one potential family factor that may differentiate anxiety and depression. Study aims were tested in two developmentally distinct samples: (a) 134 7th through 9th grade adolescents and their primary female caretaker, and (b) 112 first-year undergraduate students. Participants completed measures of emotion-related family processes, experienced affect, and anxiety and depression symptoms. Results suggested that a family environment characterized by maternal psychological control and family expressiveness of negative emotions predicted greater levels of both anxiety and depression and this relation was mediated by increased experienced negative affect. On the other hand, a family emotional environment characterized by low maternal sensitivity, low expressiveness of positive emotions, and few specific attempts to savor positive events, predicted only greater levels of depression, and this relation was partially mediated through lowered experienced positive affect. These unique relations were demonstrated in the adolescent family sample and then replicated in the sample of first-year college students. Implications for future research and treatment interventions that include families and that are tailored specifically for anxiety and depression are discussed.
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