In this prospective study of mental health, we examine the influence of three interrelated traits - perceived stress, rumination, and daytime sleepiness - and their association with symptoms of anxiety and depression in early adolescence. Given the known associations between these traits, an important objective is to determine the extent to which they may independently predict anxiety/depression symptoms. Twin pairs from the Queensland Twin Adolescent Brain (QTAB) project were assessed on two occasions (N = 211 pairs aged 9-14 years at baseline and 152 pairs aged 10-16 years at follow-up). Linear regression models and quantitative genetic modeling were used to analyze the data. Prospectively, perceived stress, rumination, and daytime sleepiness accounted for 8-11% of the variation in later anxiety/depression; familial influences contributed strongly to these associations. However, only perceived stress significantly predicted change in anxiety/depression, accounting for 3% of variance at follow-up after adjusting for anxiety/depression at baseline, although it did not do so independently of rumination and daytime sleepiness. Bidirectional effects were found between all traits over time. These findings suggest an underlying architecture that is shared, to some degree, by all traits, while the literature points to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and/or circadian systems as potential sources of overlapping influence and possible avenues for intervention.
- daily stress
- daytime sleepiness