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J Evid Based Soc Work. 2010 Jul;7(4):302-12. doi: 10.1080/19371910903178771.

An examination of the tripartite model of anxiety and depression in an outpatient sample of adolescents.

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College of Social Work, University of Tennessee, Memphis, Tennessee 38163, USA.


Anxiety and depressive disorders are the most common mental health problems for adolescents; understanding their etiology and course is necessary for developing effective prevention and treatment programs. The tripartite model of anxiety and depression was evaluated in a random, clinical sample of 185 adolescents, with an average age of 15.09 years (SD = 1.9), with 58.4% males (n = 108). Survey packets were mailed to participants (61% response rate). Two models were evaluated: (a) Model one fit adequately, however, modification indices and prior research and theory suggested adding paths between anxiety and depression. (b) Model two tested paths between anxiety and depression; this revised model fit the data well, suggesting a relationship from anxiety to depression. Further, physiological hyperarousal may be a distinct component for anxiety and negative affectivity may be a general risk factor for anxiety and depression in adolescents. The findings that different factors contribute to the cause of anxiety and depression have implications for practice.

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