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Chronic stress and stressful life events in the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder

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Chronic stress and stressful life events in the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder

Ostiguy, Caroline (2007) Chronic stress and stressful life events in the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The stress generation theory suggests that depressed individuals and children of depressed mothers are prone to create stressors that are interpersonal and dependent on their behaviour. Exposure to this "self-generated" stress is believed to increase the risk for onset and recurrence of depression. Much less is known about stress in the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder (OBD). As part of an ongoing longitudinal study, 37 OBD and 33 offspring of parents with no mental disorder (13 to 26 years old) were interviewed using the UCLA Life Stress Interview. Participants were asked about their current life circumstances (chronic stress) and negative events that occurred in the last year (episodic stress). The OBD reported more difficulties in both the interpersonal and non-interpersonal domains of chronic functioning than the offspring of parents with no mental disorder. The group differences in chronic functioning remained significant after controlling for the presence of affective disorders, indicating that the effect of risk status on chronic stress is independent of the problems associated with having a disorder. With respect to episodic stress, the OBD were almost 4 times more likely to have experienced an interpersonal stressful event of moderate to severe impact compared to the controls. There was no group difference between dependent and independent life events. Although the findings do not support the stress generation theory in the OBD, they suggest that elevated levels of episodic and chronic stress may be important premorbid markers of risk in high risk participants in adolescence and early adulthood.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Ostiguy, Caroline
Pagination:vii, 52 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Psychology
Date:2007
Thesis Supervisor(s):Ellenbogen, Mark
ID Code:975716
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:13
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:41
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