Adolescent girls' stress responses as prospective predictors of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors: A person-centered, multilevel study

Jason José Bendezú, Casey D. Calhoun, Megan W. Patterson, Abigail Findley, Karen D. Rudolph, Paul Hastings, Matthew K. Nock, Mitchell J. Prinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Adolescent risk for self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (STBs) involves disturbance across multiple systems (e.g., affective valence, arousal regulatory, cognitive and social processes). However, research integrating information across these systems is lacking. Utilizing a multiple-levels-of-analysis approach, this person-centered study identified psychobiological stress response profiles and linked them to cognitive processes, interpersonal behaviors, and STBs. At baseline, adolescent girls (N = 241, Mage = 14.68 years, Range = 12-17) at risk for STBs completed the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), questionnaires, and STB interviews. Positive affect (PA), negative affect (NA), and salivary cortisol (SC) were assessed before and after the TSST. STBs were assessed again during 3, 6, and 9 month follow-up interviews. Multitrajectory modeling of girls' PA, NA, and SC revealed four profiles, which were compared on cognitive and behavioral correlates as well as STB outcomes. Relative to normative, girls in the affective distress, hyperresponsive, and hyporesponsive subgroups were more likely to report negative cognitive style (all three groups) and excessive reassurance seeking (hyporesponsive only) at baseline, as well as nonsuicidal self-injury (all three groups) and suicidal ideation and attempt (hyporesponsive only) at follow-up. Girls' close friendship characteristics moderated several profile-STB links. A synthesis of the findings is presented alongside implications for person-centered tailoring of intervention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDevelopment and psychopathology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • adolescence
  • cortisol
  • negative affect
  • nonsuicidal self-injury
  • positive affect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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