Internalizing symptoms and chronotype in youth: A longitudinal assessment of anxiety, depression and tripartite model

Dustin A. Haraden, Benjamin C. Mullin, Benjamin L. Hankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biological rhythm theories highlight the reciprocal relations between dysregulated circadian patterns and internalizing psychopathology. Chronotype characterizes individuals’ diurnal preference, as some exhibit more morningness or eveningness. Previous research suggests that eveningness prospectively predicts depression in adolescence. Anxiety often co-occurs with depression, but little is known about longitudinal, reciprocal associations between chronotype and anxiety, and whether this relationship remains after controlling for depression. We assessed different forms of anxiety (social, panic, separation), positive/negative affect, anxious arousal (from tripartite theory), and depression, in relation to chronotype to better understand the specificity and directionality of associations between chronotype and internalizing problems in adolescence. Community youth participated in three assessment time points: T1, T2 (18-months post-T1), and T3 (30-months post-T1) as part of a larger longitudinal study. Youth completed self-report measures of anxiety, depression, positive and negative affect, and chronotype. Regression analyses showed that eveningness: (1) concurrently associated with decreased separation anxiety, elevated symptoms of depression and low levels of positive affect, (2) was prospectively predicted by elevated depression, (3) did not predict later symptoms of anxiety. The reciprocal, prospective relationship between chronotype and internalizing psychopathology is specific to depression during adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-805
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Circadian
  • Developmental
  • Mood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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