Advertisement

Genetic and environmental influences on the temporal association between earlier anxiety and later depression in girls

  • Judy L Silberg
    Correspondence
    Address reprint requests to Judy Silberg, PhD, Assistant Professor Human Genetics and Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, P.O. Box 980003, Richmond, VA 23298-0003
    Affiliations
    Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA (JLS, LE)
    Search for articles by this author
  • Michael Rutter
    Affiliations
    Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, London, England, UK (MR)
    Search for articles by this author
  • Lindon Eaves
    Affiliations
    Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA (JLS, LE)
    Search for articles by this author

      Abstract

      Background: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of genetic and environmental factors in the association between depressive symptoms and symptoms of overanxious disorder, simple phobias, and separation anxiety in 8–13-year-old and 14–17-year-old girls.
      Methods: Multivariate genetic models were fitted to child-reported longitudinal symptom data gathered from clinical interview on 415 monozygotic and 194 dizygotic female twin pairs from the Virginia Twin Study of Adolescent Behavioral Development.
      Results: Model-fitting results suggest there are distinct etiologic patterns underlying the association between depression and the different anxiety syndromes during the course of development: 1) specific genetic influences on depression after age 14 reflect liability to symptoms of earlier overanxious disorder (OAD) and simple phobias; 2) aspects of the shared environment that influence symptoms of depression before age 14 contribute to symptoms of separation anxiety and simple phobias; 3) later in adolescence shared environmental influences depression in 14+ girls also affects liability to symptoms of concurrent OAD and persistent separation anxiety.
      Conclusions: These results suggest that depression before and after age 14 may be etiologically distinct syndromes. Earlier symptoms of OAD and (to a lesser extent) phobic symptoms reflect the same genetic risk, and separation anxiety symptoms both before and after age 14 reflect the same environmental risk that influences liability to depressive symptoms expressed in middle to late adolescence.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Biological Psychiatry
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Andrews G
        Comorbidity and the general neurotic syndrome.
        Br J Psychiatry. 1996; 168: 76-84
        • Angold A
        • Costello E.J
        A test-retest reliability study of child-reported psychiatric symptoms and diagnoses using the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment (CAPA-C).
        Psychol Med. 1995; 25: 755-762
        • Angold A
        • Costello E.J
        The Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment (CAPA).
        J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2000; 39: 39-48
        • Angold A
        • Costello E.J
        • Erkanli A
        Comorbidity.
        J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1999; 40: 55-87
        • Angold A
        • Costello E.J
        • Worthman C
        Puberty and depression.
        Psychol Med. 1998; 28: 51-61
        • Angold A
        • Prendergast M
        • Cox A
        • Harrington R.C
        • Simonoff E
        • Rutter M
        The Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment (CAPA).
        Psychol Med. 1995; 25: 739-753
        • Beidel D
        • Turner S
        At risk for anxiety, I.
        J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1997; 36: 918-924
        • Breier A
        • Charney D.S
        • Heninger G.R
        The diagnostic validity of anxiety disorders and their relationship to depressive illness.
        Am J Psychiatry. 1985; 142: 787-797
        • Carey G
        • DiLalla D.L
        Personality and psychopathology.
        J Abnorm Psychol. 1994; 103: 32-43
        • Clark L.A
        • Watson D
        • Mineka S
        Temperament, personality, and the mood and anxiety disorders.
        J Abnorm Psychol. 1994; 102: 103-116
        • Costello E.J
        • Angold A
        Scales to assess child and adolescent depression.
        J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1988; 27: 726-737
        • Eaves L.J
        • Eysenck H
        A genotype-environmental model for psychoticism.
        Adv Behav Res Ther. 1977; 1: 5-26
        • Eaves L.J
        • Silberg J.L
        • Meyer J.M
        • Maes H.H
        • Simonoff E.S
        • Pickles A
        • et al.
        Genetics and developmental psychopathology.
        J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1997; 38: 965-980
        • Eley T
        • Stevenson J
        Exploring the covariation between anxiety and depression symptoms.
        J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1999; 40: 1273-1282
        • Eley T
        • Stevenson J
        Using genetic analysis to clarify the distinction between depressive and anxious symptoms in children.
        J Abnorm Psychol. 1999; 27: 105-114
        • Giaconia R.M
        • Reinherz H.Z
        • Silverman A.B
        • Pakiz B
        • Frost A.K
        • Cohen E
        Ages of onset of psychiatric disorders in a community population of older adolescents.
        J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1994; 33: 706-717
        • Hankin B.L
        • Abramson L.Y
        • Moffitt T.E
        • Silva P.A
        • McGee R
        • Angell K.E
        Development of depression from preadolescence to young adulthood.
        J Abnorm Psychol. 1998; 107: 128-140
        • Harrington R.C
        Family-genetic findings in child and adolescent depressive disorders.
        Int Rev Psychiatry. 1996; 8: 355-368
        • Hewitt J.K
        • Silberg J.L
        • Rutter M
        • Simonoff E
        • Meyer J.M
        • Maes H
        • et al.
        Genetics and developmental psychopathology.
        J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1997; 38: 943-963
        • Jardine R
        • Martin N.G
        • Henderson A.S
        Genetic covariation between neuroticism and the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
        Genet Epidemiol. 1984; 1: 89-107
        • Kail R.V
        Memory development in children. 3rd ed. Freeman, San Francisco1990
        • Keating D.P
        Adolescent thinking.
        in: Foldman S.S Elliott G At the Threshold The Developing Adolescent. Harvard University Press, Cambridge1990: 54-89
        • Kendler K.S
        Major depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Same genes, (partly) different environments.
        Br J Psychiatry. 1996; 168: 68-75
        • Kendler K.S
        • Heath A.C
        • Martin N.G
        • Eaves L.J
        Symptoms of anxiety and depression.
        Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1987; 44: 451-457
        • Kendler K.S
        • Neale M.C
        • Kessler R.C
        • Heath A.C
        • Eaves L.J
        Major depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
        Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1992; 49: 716-722
        • Kendler K.S
        • Neale M.C
        • Kessler R.C
        • Heath A.C
        • Eaves L.J
        The genetic epidemiology of phobias in women.
        Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1992; 49: 273-281
        • Kendler K.S
        • Neale M.C
        • Kessler R.C
        • Heath A.C
        • Eaves L.J
        A longitudinal twin study of personality and major depression in women.
        Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1993; 50: 853-862
        • Kendler K.S
        • Walters E.E
        • Neale M.C
        • Kessler R.C
        • Heath A.C
        • Eaves L.J
        The structure of the genetic and environmental risk factors for six major psychiatric disorders in women.
        Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1995; 52: 374-383
        • Kessler R.C
        • Nelson B
        • McGonagle K.A
        • Liu J
        • Swartz M
        • Blazer D.G
        Comorbidity of DSM-III-R major depressive disorder in the general population.
        Br J Psychiatry. 1996; 168: 17-30
        • Kovacs M
        • Devlin B
        Internalizing disorders in childhood.
        J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1998; 39: 47-63
        • Kovacs M
        • Gatsonis S
        • Paulauskas S.L
        • Richards C
        Depressive disorders in childhood IV. A longitudinal study of comorbidity with and risk for anxiety disorders.
        Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1989; 46: 776-783
        • McGee R
        • Feehan M
        • Williams S
        • Anderson J
        DSM-III disorders from age 11 to age 15 years.
        J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1992; 31: 50-59
        • Meyer J.M
        • Silberg J.L
        • Simonoff E
        • Maes H
        • Neale M.C
        • Pickles A
        • et al.
        The Virginia Twin-Family Study of Adolescent Behavioral Development.
        Psychol Med. 1996; 26: 1119-1133
        • Neale M.C
        Mx. Department of Psychiatry of Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA1997
        • Neale M.C
        • Cardon L.R
        Methodology for Genetic Studies of Twins and Families. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht1992
        • Neale M.C
        • Kendler K.S
        Models of comorbidity for multifactorial disorders.
        Am J Hum Genet. 1995; 57: 935-953
        • Neuman R.J
        • Geller B
        • Rice J.P
        • Todd R.D
        Increased prevalence and earlier onset of mood disorders among relatives of prepubertal versus adult probands.
        J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1997; 36: 466-473
        • Orvaschel H
        • Lewinsohn P.M
        • Seeley J.R
        Continuity of psychopathology in a community sample of adolescents.
        J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1995; 34: 1525-1535
      1. Rende R, Warner V, Wickramarante P, Weissman MM (1999): Sibling aggregation for psychiatric disorders in offspring at high and low risk for depression: 10-year follow-up.

        • Rohde P
        • Lewinsohn P.M
        • Seeley J.R
        Comorbidity of unipolar depression.
        J Abnorm Psychol. 1991; 100: 214-222
        • Roy M.-A
        • Neale M.C
        • Pedersen N
        • Mathe A.A
        • Kendler K.S
        A twin study of generalized anxiety disorder and major depression.
        Psychol Med. 1995; 25: 1037-1049
      2. SAS Institute (1996): SAS User’s Guide: StatisticsVersion 6.12. Cary (NC): SAS Institute.

      3. Silberg JL, Neale MC, Rutter M, Eaves LJ (in press): Genetic moderation of environmental risk for depression and anxiety in adolescent girls. Br J Psychiatry.

        • Silberg J.L
        • Pickles A
        • Rutter M
        • Hewitt J.K
        • Simonoff E
        • Maes H
        • et al.
        The influence of genetic factors and life stress on depression in adolescent girls.
        Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1999; 56: 225-232
        • Simonoff E
        • Pickles A
        • Meyer J.M
        • Silberg J.L
        • Maes H
        • Loeber R
        • et al.
        The Virginia Twin Study of Adolescent Behavioral Development.
        Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1997; 54: 801-808
        • Teasdale J.D
        • Barnard P.J
        Affect, cognition, and change. Erlbaum, Hove (UK)1993
        • Thapar A
        • McGuffin P
        A twin study of depressive symptoms in childhood.
        Br J Psychiatry. 1994; 165: 259-265
        • Thapar A
        • McGuffin P
        Are anxiety symptoms in childhood heritable?.
        J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1995; 36: 439-447
        • Thapar A
        • McGuffin P
        Anxiety and depressive symptoms in childhood—a genetic study of comorbidity.
        J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1997; 38: 651-656
        • Topolski T.D
        • Hewitt J.K
        • Eaves L.J
        • Meyer J
        • Silberg J
        • Simonoff E
        • et al.
        Genetic and environmental influences on ratings of manifest anxiety by parents and children.
        J Anxiety Disord. 1999; 13: 371-397
        • Velez C.N
        • Johnson J
        • Cohen P
        A longitudinal analysis of selected risk factors of childhood psychopathology.
        J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1989; 28: 861-864
        • Warner V
        • Mufson L
        • Weissman M.M
        Offspring at high and low risk for depression and anxiety.
        J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1995; 34: 786-797
        • Warner V
        • Weissman M.M
        • Mufson L
        • Wickramaratne P
        Grandparents, parents, and grandchildren at high risk for depression.
        J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1999; 38: 289-296
        • Weissman M
        Evidence for comorbidity of anxiety and depression.
        in: Maser J.D Cloninger C.R Comorbidity of Mood and Anxiety Disorders. American Psychiatric Press, Washington (DC)1990: 349-378
        • Weissman M.M
        • Fendrich M
        • Warner V
        • Wickramaratne P
        Incidence of psychiatric disorder in offspring at high and low risk for depression.
        J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1992; 31: 640-648
        • Weissman M.M
        • Warner V
        • Wickramaratne P
        • Moreau D
        • Olfson M
        Offspring of depressed parents.
        Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1997; 54: 932-940
        • Weissman W
        • Wolk S
        • Wickramaratne P
        • Goldstein R
        • Adams P
        • Greenwald S
        • et al.
        Children with pre-pubertal-onset major depressive disorder and anxiety grown up.
        Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1999; 56: 794-801
        • Wickramaratne P
        • Weissman M.M
        Onset of psychopathology in offspring by developmental phase and parental depression.
        J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1998; 37: 933-942

      Linked Article