Social Criticism Moderates the Relationship between Anxiety Disorders and Depressive Disorders 10 Years Later

Open Access
Lord, Kayla Aubrey
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Michelle Gayle Newman, Thesis Supervisor
  • Kenneth Levy, Honors Advisor
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • criticism
  • moderator
Research has reliably demonstrated that earlier anxiety disorders predict later depressive disorders, but few studies that have examined context variables that influence the strength of this relationship. One potential context variable is perceived social criticism. The current study examined perceived criticism as a possible moderator of the relationship of anxiety and depressive disorders 10 years later. Using a sample from The National Comorbidity Survey Baseline (NCS-I), 1990-1992, anxiety disorders and frequency of perceived social criticism were measured at Wave 1. Depressive disorders were measured at Wave 2, 10 years later, using data from The National Comorbidity Survey Reinterview (NCS-2), 2001-2002. Logistic regression analyses showed that generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia significantly positively predicted later major depressive disorder. In addition, panic disorder significantly positively predicted dysthymic disorder 10 years later. Criticism significantly moderated the relationship between generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, and major depressive disorder such that having higher levels of perceived criticism was associated with stronger relationships between anxiety disorders and later depressive disorders. These results suggest that criticism moderates the relationship between anxiety disorders and depressive disorders 10 years later.