Are anxiety and depression just as stable as personality during late adolescence? Results from a three-year longitudinal latent variable study.

TitleAre anxiety and depression just as stable as personality during late adolescence? Results from a three-year longitudinal latent variable study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsPrenoveau, JM, Craske MG, Zinbarg RE, Mineka S, Rose RD, Griffith JW
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Volume120
Issue4
Pagination832-43
Date Published2011 Nov
ISSN1939-1846
KeywordsAdolescent, Adolescent Psychology, Affective Symptoms, Anxiety, Child, Depression, Extraversion (Psychology), Humans, Interview, Psychological, Longitudinal Studies, Models, Psychological, Personality, Personality Assessment, Personality Development, Phobic Disorders, Questionnaires, Severity of Illness Index, Time Factors, Young Adult
Abstract

Although considerable evidence shows that affective symptoms and personality traits demonstrate moderate to high relative stabilities during adolescence and early adulthood, there has been little work done to examine differential stability among these constructs or to study the manner in which the stability of these constructs is expressed. The present study used a three-year longitudinal design in an adolescent/young adult sample to examine the stability of depression symptoms, social phobia symptoms, specific phobia symptoms, neuroticism, and extraversion. When considering one-, two-, and three-year durations, anxiety and personality stabilities were generally similar and typically greater than the stability of depression. Comparison of various representations of a latent variable trait-state-occasion (TSO) model revealed that whereas the full TSO model was the best representation for depression, a trait stability model was the most parsimonious of the best-fitting models for the anxiety and personality constructs. Over three years, the percentages of variance explained by the trait component for the anxiety and personality constructs (73-84%) were significantly greater than that explained by the trait component for depression (46%). These findings indicate that symptoms of depression are more episodic in nature, whereas symptoms of anxiety are more similar to personality variables in their expression of stability.

DOI10.3928/01913913-20090706-05
Alternate JournalJ Abnorm Psychol