Article Review: A Longitudinal Examination of Stress Generation in Depressive and Anxiety Disorders
The article A Longitudinal Examination of Stress Generation in Depressive and Anxiety Disorders
examines the correlation between life stress and such disorders as depression and anxiety. It discusses the connection between a stressful event and depression as well as life stress and depression. Furthermore, it examines whether a stressful causes a temporary depressive state or a longer lasting depressive state in a person. The dimensions of life stress are discussed as well as types of stress generation and factors which play a role in stress generation. The article also examines whether the same factors of stress generation which are involved in depression play a role in anxiety and to what extent these factors play a role in anxiety disorders. The article explores whether the same stress generation causes and factors affect anxiety to the same extent as depression.
There is a significant connection between stress and depression according to the article. The article states, “research has consistently shown that major stressful events often precede the onset of an initial depressive episode” (Uliaszek, 1). The article goes on to state that even though the connection between a stressful vent and depression is known and has been studied, there need to be further study of the connection between chronic life stress and depression.
The article goes on to state how these dimensions of life stress are connected to stress generation. “Stress generation implies that a heightened level of stress continues to be maintained for a time period after a depressive episode relative to what would be expected with nondepressed individuals with high levels of stress over the same time period” (Uliaszek, 2). There are two contrasting ways in which the authors find to interpret stress; there two ways are the stress causation theory and the stress continuation theory. The stress causation theory theorizes that the characteristics of the depressed person plays a significant role in the in the depressive state. The charactistics the authors choose to examine are neuroticism and extraversion. The authors believe that neuroticism is connected to higher levels of depression. I agree that it is true that neuroticism plays a rolein higher levels of depression, however, the authors’ discussion on these topics add very little to current assumptions on the role that neuroticism plays in depression. Furthermore, the authors believe that extraversion is inversely connected to stress generation; people who are more extroverted experience less stress. I agree with this conclusion as well, however, I again feel that the authors fail to state any new finding concerning the connection to add to normally assumptions concerning the level of correlation between extraversion and stress.
When discussion the stress continuation theory, the authors do state that there has been found to be a connection between depression and subsequent life stress. Therefore, under this theory, the authors believe it is the depression itself which leads to subsequent life stress; and the life stress would lead to subsequent depression. I feel that the authors fail to adequately explain which is the cause and which is the effect, but instead simply restate the fact that stress and depression tend to go hand in hand.
The articles then detail a study conducted concerning anxiety and depression and their relationship to episodic life stress and chronic life stress. The interpersonal factors were also studies with regard to the two disorders. The stress causation theory was supported by the findings. The study showed that clinical intervention should focus in part on stress reduction in order to decrease the likelihood of future depression in individuals who seek treatment for depression. Neuroticism was also found to have a moderately strong correlation to stress generation. Thus, interpersonal factors play a significant role in episodic and chronic life stress which contributes to depression in individuals.
The connection between stress and depression and anxiety are made for this study, however, the article goes on to state that more studies need to be conducted to gauge the exact role of stress in depression and anxiety. It is apparent from this study that finding a way to decrease the level of stress in an individual will have a positive impact on the amount s of depression and anxiety which the individual experiences. This can be a very important finding in the field of psychology and mental health; mitigation of stress can now be looked at as a way to prevent depression in a significant number of individuals and to decrease the recurrence of depressive episodes in those experiencing depression.
- Uliasezek, Amanda A., Richard E. Zinbarg, Susan Mineka, Michelle G. Craske, James W. Griffith,
- Johnathan M. Sutton, Alyssa Epstein, and Constance Hammen. “A Longitudinal Examination of Stress Generation in Depressive and Anxiety Disorders.” Journal of Abnormal Psychology. October 17, 2011.