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Interpersonal life stress, inflammation, and depression in adolescence : testing Social Signal Transduction Theory of Depression

(2020) DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY. 37(2). p.179-193
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Abstract
Background Depression rates increase markedly for girls across the adolescent transition, but the social-environmental and biological processes underlying this phenomenon remain unclear. To address this issue, we tested a key hypothesis from Social Signal Transduction Theory of Depression, which posits that individuals who mount stronger inflammatory responses to social stress should exhibit greater increases in depressive symptoms following interpersonal life stress exposure than those who mount weaker inflammatory responses to such stress. Method Participants were 116 adolescent girls (M-age = 14.71) at risk for psychopathology, defined as having a history of mental health concerns (e.g., psychiatric treatment, significant symptoms) over the past 2 years. At baseline, we characterized their inflammatory reactivity to social stress by quantifying their salivary proinflammatory cytokine responses to a laboratory-based social stressor. Then, 9 months later, we assessed the interpersonal and noninterpersonal stressful life events that they experienced over the prior 9 months using an interview-based measure of life stress. Results As hypothesized, greater interpersonal life stress exposure was associated with significant increases in depression over time, but only for girls exhibiting stronger salivary tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1 beta reactivity to social stress. In contrast, noninterpersonal stress exposure was unrelated to changes in depression longitudinally, both alone and when combined with youths' cytokine reactivity scores. Discussion These results are consistent with Social Signal Transduction Theory of Depression and suggest that heightened inflammatory reactivity to social stress may increase adolescents' risk for depression. Consequently, it may be possible to reduce depression risk by modifying inflammatory responses to social stress.
Keywords
ANTIINFLAMMATORY GENE-EXPRESSION, ACUTE PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS, TARGETED REJECTION, MAJOR DEPRESSION, CHILDHOOD ADVERSITY, CYTOKINE LEVELS, SEX-DIFFERENCES, US CHILDREN, REACTIVITY, DISORDERS, cytokines, development, disease, inflammation, major depressive disorder, risk, social stress, vulnerability

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MLA
Slavich, George M., et al. “Interpersonal Life Stress, Inflammation, and Depression in Adolescence : Testing Social Signal Transduction Theory of Depression.” DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY, vol. 37, no. 2, 2020, pp. 179–93, doi:10.1002/da.22987.
APA
Slavich, G. M., Giletta, M., Helms, S. W., Hastings, P. D., Rudolph, K. D., Nock, M. K., & Prinstein, M. J. (2020). Interpersonal life stress, inflammation, and depression in adolescence : testing Social Signal Transduction Theory of Depression. DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY, 37(2), 179–193. https://doi.org/10.1002/da.22987
Chicago author-date
Slavich, George M., Matteo Giletta, Sarah W. Helms, Paul D. Hastings, Karen D. Rudolph, Matthew K. Nock, and Mitchell J. Prinstein. 2020. “Interpersonal Life Stress, Inflammation, and Depression in Adolescence : Testing Social Signal Transduction Theory of Depression.” DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY 37 (2): 179–93. https://doi.org/10.1002/da.22987.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Slavich, George M., Matteo Giletta, Sarah W. Helms, Paul D. Hastings, Karen D. Rudolph, Matthew K. Nock, and Mitchell J. Prinstein. 2020. “Interpersonal Life Stress, Inflammation, and Depression in Adolescence : Testing Social Signal Transduction Theory of Depression.” DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY 37 (2): 179–193. doi:10.1002/da.22987.
Vancouver
1.
Slavich GM, Giletta M, Helms SW, Hastings PD, Rudolph KD, Nock MK, et al. Interpersonal life stress, inflammation, and depression in adolescence : testing Social Signal Transduction Theory of Depression. DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY. 2020;37(2):179–93.
IEEE
[1]
G. M. Slavich et al., “Interpersonal life stress, inflammation, and depression in adolescence : testing Social Signal Transduction Theory of Depression,” DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 179–193, 2020.
@article{8698029,
  abstract     = {{Background Depression rates increase markedly for girls across the adolescent transition, but the social-environmental and biological processes underlying this phenomenon remain unclear. To address this issue, we tested a key hypothesis from Social Signal Transduction Theory of Depression, which posits that individuals who mount stronger inflammatory responses to social stress should exhibit greater increases in depressive symptoms following interpersonal life stress exposure than those who mount weaker inflammatory responses to such stress. Method Participants were 116 adolescent girls (M-age = 14.71) at risk for psychopathology, defined as having a history of mental health concerns (e.g., psychiatric treatment, significant symptoms) over the past 2 years. At baseline, we characterized their inflammatory reactivity to social stress by quantifying their salivary proinflammatory cytokine responses to a laboratory-based social stressor. Then, 9 months later, we assessed the interpersonal and noninterpersonal stressful life events that they experienced over the prior 9 months using an interview-based measure of life stress. Results As hypothesized, greater interpersonal life stress exposure was associated with significant increases in depression over time, but only for girls exhibiting stronger salivary tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1 beta reactivity to social stress. In contrast, noninterpersonal stress exposure was unrelated to changes in depression longitudinally, both alone and when combined with youths' cytokine reactivity scores. Discussion These results are consistent with Social Signal Transduction Theory of Depression and suggest that heightened inflammatory reactivity to social stress may increase adolescents' risk for depression. Consequently, it may be possible to reduce depression risk by modifying inflammatory responses to social stress.}},
  author       = {{Slavich, George M. and Giletta, Matteo and Helms, Sarah W. and Hastings, Paul D. and Rudolph, Karen D. and Nock, Matthew K. and Prinstein, Mitchell J.}},
  issn         = {{1091-4269}},
  journal      = {{DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY}},
  keywords     = {{ANTIINFLAMMATORY GENE-EXPRESSION,ACUTE PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS,TARGETED REJECTION,MAJOR DEPRESSION,CHILDHOOD ADVERSITY,CYTOKINE LEVELS,SEX-DIFFERENCES,US CHILDREN,REACTIVITY,DISORDERS,cytokines,development,disease,inflammation,major depressive disorder,risk,social stress,vulnerability}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{2}},
  pages        = {{179--193}},
  title        = {{Interpersonal life stress, inflammation, and depression in adolescence : testing Social Signal Transduction Theory of Depression}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/da.22987}},
  volume       = {{37}},
  year         = {{2020}},
}

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