Cognitive predictors of stress-induced mood malleability in depression.
Bø R., Kraft B., Joormann J., Jonassen R., Harmer CJ., Landrø NI.
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES: Basic attentional control, negative biases in attention and interpretation, and rumination are all cognitive processes associated with depression; however, less is known about their predictive role in depressive mood reactivity and -recovery in response to stress, and their relation to severity of depression. DESIGN & METHODS: We experimentally induced stress based on an autobiographical imagery script in a sample of 92 participants with Major Depressive Disorder with or without comorbid anxiety disorders. We used simple regression analysis for investigating the roles of state- and trait rumination, attentional networks, and attentional and interpretation biases for predicting stress-induced depressive mood reactivity and -recovery, respectively, and whether they in parallel mediated the association between cognitive processes and depression severity. RESULTS: Stress-induced depressive mood reactivity was predicted by better orienting ability and more state rumination. Better recovery was predicted by better orienting efficiency and lower negative interpretation bias. Furthermore, the relation between state rumination and depression severity was partially mediated by depressive mood reactivity, however limited by the lack of temporal precedence in the analysis. CONCLUSIONS: We characterized the relation between cognitive processes and mood malleability in response to stress. Findings could refine theoretical models of depression if causality is established. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT04137367.