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Title:Neuropsychological and Psychosocial Predictors of Children's Depression
Author(s):Osborne, Lori Ninette
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Rudolph, Karen
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Psychobiology
Abstract:The role of regional brain activity, children's perceptions of mother-child relationships, perceptions of interparental conflict, and reports of family-related stress in predicting symptoms of depression, aggression, and anxiety were examined in 624 5th and 6th graders. Perceptual asymmetry on a free vision test (Chimeric Faces Test; Levy, et al., 1983) was used as an index of regional brain activity. One goal was to identify specific predictors of depressive versus aggressive symptoms. Co-occurring symptoms were statistically controlled to increase specificity. Concurrent and short-term longitudinal associations were examined. Low perceived maternal acceptance of individuation (PMAI) specifically predicted depressive symptoms concurrently and longitudinally. Perceived maternal inconsistent discipline specifically predicted aggressive symptoms concurrently. Perceived maternal rejection and family stress were non-specific. High PMAI predicted aggressive symptoms, dependent on levels of rejection and inconsistent discipline. For perceptions of interparental conflict, self-blame predicted depressive and aggressive symptoms concurrently and longitudinally; high perceived threat (PT) predicted concurrent depressive symptoms; low PT, longitudinal aggressive symptoms; and conflict properties, concurrent aggressive symptoms. No sex differences were found for psychosocial predictors of aggressive symptoms; perceptions of maternal rejection, and self-blame and high PT regarding interparental conflict were associated with depressive symptoms for girls only. A second goal was to examine models integrating neuropsychological and psychosocial predictors of depressive symptoms. Low Right Hemisphere Bias (RHB) predicted depressive symptoms in boys (extending the Heller model of emotion; see Heller & Nitschke, 1998), but not in girls. High RHB did not predict anxiety symptoms. In exploratory analyses, for girls, high RHB predicted aggression items reflecting excitation, thus supporting the Heller model linking high RHB to arousal. Moderating, but not mediating models were supported. The association between RHB and depressive symptoms was dependent on PMAI. For boys, this dependency was consistent with a diathesis-stress model. In contrast, for girls with low stress, depressive symptoms were associated with low RHB, and for girls with high stress, with high RBA. Girls' results were discussed in terms of high RHB reflecting increased processing of non-verbal social information, thus intensifying the effects of interpersonal discord.
Issue Date:2003
Description:141 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3086150
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2003

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