Common and Specific Emotion-related Predictors of Anxious and Depressive Symptoms in Youth

  • Cynthia SuvegEmail author
  • Brian Hoffman
  • Janice L. Zeman
  • Kristel Thomassin


This study examined whether specific emotion-related constructs may be uniquely related to anxious or depressive symptoms in youth. Although anxiety and depression are comorbid in both youth and adult populations, delineation of these disorders is a worthwhile endeavor given that such differentiation may lead to a clearer conceptualization of the disorders that in turn may facilitate more efficient diagnosis and effective treatment. Children in the 4th and 5th grades (N = 187; M age = 10 years, 3 months) completed measures to assess symptoms of anxiety and depression and emotion-related functioning. Using structural equation modeling, emotion-related variables were identified that were common to both anxiety and depression (poor emotion awareness, emotion dysregulation, poor emotion regulation coping, high frequency of negative affect), most strongly related to depression (low frequency of positive affect), and most distinctly associated with anxiety (frequency of emotion experience, somatic response to emotion activation). The findings suggest that comprehensive theoretical formulations of anxiety and depression in youth should consider emotion-related variables. The results also suggest potential avenues that may facilitate more efficient assessment and treatment of such youth.


Anxiety Depression Emotion Predictors 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia Suveg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Brian Hoffman
    • 1
  • Janice L. Zeman
    • 2
  • Kristel Thomassin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.The College of William and MaryWilliamsburgUSA

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