Teasing Apart the Effect of Depression Specific and Anxiety Specific Symptoms on Academic Outcomes 175
Research Assistant, Department of Psychology, University of Notre Dame, USA
Department of Psychology, University of Notre Dame, USA
Student, Department of Psychology, University of Notre Dame, USA
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological Science, University of Arkansas, Washington, USA
PhD in Psychology, Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA
Research shows that adolescents’ performance in school can be negatively affected by depression and anxiety. However, past studies have used nonspecific measures of depression and anxiety that preclude researchers from understanding their unique effects. The current study addressed this gap in the literature by teasing apart the effects of depression specific and anxiety specific symptoms on end of semester grade point average (GPA) and the likelihood of dropping a course. We used a 3-month longitudinal design with a sample of 130 United States (U.S.) undergraduates. Results showed that only cumulative GPA and ACT score predicted end of semester GPA. However, high levels of anxiety specific (anxious arousal), but not depression specific (anhedonia), symptoms predicted whether or not a student dropped a course. These results suggest that targeting anxiety specific symptoms in schools may be effective in improving academic outcomes.
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