Examining experiential avoidance as a mediator of the relation between anxiety sensitivity and depressive symptoms

Aliza T. Stein, Johnna L. Medina, David Rosenfield, Michael W. Otto, Jasper A.J. Smits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Initial evidence suggests that experiential avoidance (EA) mediates the relation between anxiety sensitivity (AS) and depression. We examined the AS-EA-depression pathway, examining both concurrent, and prospective (cross-lag), mediation models. Utilizing data from a study that examined the effects of exercise on AS (N = 60), we modeled depressive symptoms, EA, and AS over four time points. Time-varying predictors were disaggregated into between-subjects (each person’s mean level of the predictor) and within-subjects change (each person’s deviations, at each time point, from their mean level on the predictor) components. Tests of the concurrent relations were partially consistent with predictions, with mean EA levels, but not within-subjects changes in EA, partially mediating the relation between AS and depression symptom severity. However, the prospective, cross-lag mediation model, in which AS predicted future EA controlling for previous EA, and EA predicted future depression, controlling for previous depression, yielded no significant effects. These results suggest that observed between-subjects mediation findings, found here and in previous studies, may not replicate using more stringent, quasi-causal, cross-lag mediation analyses. These results highlight the importance of estimating causal pathways in mediation analyses. Clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-54
Number of pages14
JournalCognitive Behaviour Therapy
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020

Fingerprint

Anxiety
Depression

Keywords

  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • depressive symptoms
  • experiential avoidance
  • mediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Examining experiential avoidance as a mediator of the relation between anxiety sensitivity and depressive symptoms. / Stein, Aliza T.; Medina, Johnna L.; Rosenfield, David; Otto, Michael W.; Smits, Jasper A.J.

In: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Vol. 49, No. 1, 02.01.2020, p. 41-54.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Stein, Aliza T. ; Medina, Johnna L. ; Rosenfield, David ; Otto, Michael W. ; Smits, Jasper A.J. / Examining experiential avoidance as a mediator of the relation between anxiety sensitivity and depressive symptoms. In: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. 2020 ; Vol. 49, No. 1. pp. 41-54.
@article{12e4b1cfd37e4acc911d5009db6e110a,
title = "Examining experiential avoidance as a mediator of the relation between anxiety sensitivity and depressive symptoms",
abstract = "Initial evidence suggests that experiential avoidance (EA) mediates the relation between anxiety sensitivity (AS) and depression. We examined the AS-EA-depression pathway, examining both concurrent, and prospective (cross-lag), mediation models. Utilizing data from a study that examined the effects of exercise on AS (N = 60), we modeled depressive symptoms, EA, and AS over four time points. Time-varying predictors were disaggregated into between-subjects (each person’s mean level of the predictor) and within-subjects change (each person’s deviations, at each time point, from their mean level on the predictor) components. Tests of the concurrent relations were partially consistent with predictions, with mean EA levels, but not within-subjects changes in EA, partially mediating the relation between AS and depression symptom severity. However, the prospective, cross-lag mediation model, in which AS predicted future EA controlling for previous EA, and EA predicted future depression, controlling for previous depression, yielded no significant effects. These results suggest that observed between-subjects mediation findings, found here and in previous studies, may not replicate using more stringent, quasi-causal, cross-lag mediation analyses. These results highlight the importance of estimating causal pathways in mediation analyses. Clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed.",
keywords = "Anxiety sensitivity, depressive symptoms, experiential avoidance, mediation",
author = "Stein, {Aliza T.} and Medina, {Johnna L.} and David Rosenfield and Otto, {Michael W.} and Smits, {Jasper A.J.}",
year = "2020",
month = "1",
day = "2",
doi = "10.1080/16506073.2018.1546768",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "49",
pages = "41--54",
journal = "Cognitive Behaviour Therapy",
issn = "1650-6073",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis AS",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Examining experiential avoidance as a mediator of the relation between anxiety sensitivity and depressive symptoms

AU - Stein, Aliza T.

AU - Medina, Johnna L.

AU - Rosenfield, David

AU - Otto, Michael W.

AU - Smits, Jasper A.J.

PY - 2020/1/2

Y1 - 2020/1/2

N2 - Initial evidence suggests that experiential avoidance (EA) mediates the relation between anxiety sensitivity (AS) and depression. We examined the AS-EA-depression pathway, examining both concurrent, and prospective (cross-lag), mediation models. Utilizing data from a study that examined the effects of exercise on AS (N = 60), we modeled depressive symptoms, EA, and AS over four time points. Time-varying predictors were disaggregated into between-subjects (each person’s mean level of the predictor) and within-subjects change (each person’s deviations, at each time point, from their mean level on the predictor) components. Tests of the concurrent relations were partially consistent with predictions, with mean EA levels, but not within-subjects changes in EA, partially mediating the relation between AS and depression symptom severity. However, the prospective, cross-lag mediation model, in which AS predicted future EA controlling for previous EA, and EA predicted future depression, controlling for previous depression, yielded no significant effects. These results suggest that observed between-subjects mediation findings, found here and in previous studies, may not replicate using more stringent, quasi-causal, cross-lag mediation analyses. These results highlight the importance of estimating causal pathways in mediation analyses. Clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed.

AB - Initial evidence suggests that experiential avoidance (EA) mediates the relation between anxiety sensitivity (AS) and depression. We examined the AS-EA-depression pathway, examining both concurrent, and prospective (cross-lag), mediation models. Utilizing data from a study that examined the effects of exercise on AS (N = 60), we modeled depressive symptoms, EA, and AS over four time points. Time-varying predictors were disaggregated into between-subjects (each person’s mean level of the predictor) and within-subjects change (each person’s deviations, at each time point, from their mean level on the predictor) components. Tests of the concurrent relations were partially consistent with predictions, with mean EA levels, but not within-subjects changes in EA, partially mediating the relation between AS and depression symptom severity. However, the prospective, cross-lag mediation model, in which AS predicted future EA controlling for previous EA, and EA predicted future depression, controlling for previous depression, yielded no significant effects. These results suggest that observed between-subjects mediation findings, found here and in previous studies, may not replicate using more stringent, quasi-causal, cross-lag mediation analyses. These results highlight the importance of estimating causal pathways in mediation analyses. Clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed.

KW - Anxiety sensitivity

KW - depressive symptoms

KW - experiential avoidance

KW - mediation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85058074049&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85058074049&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/16506073.2018.1546768

DO - 10.1080/16506073.2018.1546768

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85058074049

VL - 49

SP - 41

EP - 54

JO - Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

JF - Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

SN - 1650-6073

IS - 1

ER -