Bivariate Relationships Between Vulnerabilities and Symptoms
Mean-item scores and standard deviations for predictor and outcome variables are shown in Table . Neuroticism, sociotropy, autonomy, dysfunctional attitudes, and inferential style were all significantly correlated (r’s ranging from .42 to .58, P’s < . 01). Furthermore, each of the vulnerabilities was significantly associated with the depression composite (r’s ranging from .46 to .67, P’s < .01) and with both general and anhedonic depressive symptoms (r’s ranging from .28 to .63). All correlations between vulnerabilities and anxiety symptoms were also statistically significant (P < .01). Correlations ranged from .13 for the association between specific fears and DAS to .54 for the association between social phobia symptoms and N.
Descriptive statistics and correlations among personality, cognitive styles, personality-cognitive styles, and symptoms of depression and anxiety
Specific Vulnerabilities and Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety
Regression analyses examining the four specific vulnerabilities are presented in Table . The four specific vulnerabilities accounted for about 40% of the variance for both the depression composite and general depressive symptoms with each vulnerability making a statistically significant unique contribution between 1 and 4%. For anhedonic depression symptoms, the four vulnerabilities accounted for 28% of the variance and the CSQ, DAS, and autonomy contributed 2, 4, and 5% of unique variance respectively. For general anxiety symptoms, the vulnerabilities together accounted for 24% of the variance with CSQ, sociotropy, and autonomy, each contributing 2–3% of unique variance. For anxious arousal symptoms, the set of four vulnerabilities accounted for 16% of the variance with the greatest unique contribution (4%) made by autonomy. For social phobia symptoms, the four vulnerabilities accounted for 28% of the variance with CSQ, DAS, sociotropy, and autonomy uniquely contributing 1–3% of variance. Relatively smaller amounts of total variance were accounted for in agoraphobic/interoceptive fears (R2 = .10) and specific fears (R2 = .07). Sociotropy made small, but significant contributions to both of the latter symptom sets, and CSQ accounted for 1% of unique variance in specific fears. In sum, these vulnerabilities contributed significantly as a group to all five anxiety symptom scales as well as to depressive symptoms. Notably, each of the vulnerabilities accounted for a small amount of unique variance in at least two of the anxiety symptom scales.
Regression analyses for cognitive styles and personality-cognitive vulnerabilities with depression and anxiety symptoms
Overlap of the Specific Vulnerabilities
A related objective of these analyses was to compare the shared versus unique contributions of the four specific vulnerabilities in their associations with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Importantly, the magnitude of the unique contributions was relatively small compared to the overall shared variance (see right side of Table ). Indeed, approximately 70% of the variance accounted for in the depression composite and general depressive symptoms derived from factors shared by the vulnerabilities. Very similar results were found for social phobia, general anxiety, agoraphobic/interoceptive fears, and anxious arousal symptoms. Unique variance played a somewhat larger role in anhedonic depressive symptoms (39%) and specific fears (51%). Substantial evidence then suggests that what is shared among these cognitive and personality-cognitive vulnerabilities comprises a significant proportion of their relationships with symptoms.
Incremental Validity Analyses Examining Specific Vulnerabilities and N
A third objective of the study was to examine the incremental validity of the more narrow vulnerabilities as compared to N (see Table ). As a group, the five vulnerabilities accounted for about 50% of variance in the depression composite and general depression symptoms. The largest unique contribution was made by N which accounted for nearly 11% of unique variance in the composite and 7% for general depressive symptoms. For anhedonic depression symptoms, the five vulnerabilities accounted for about 37% of the variance, with N accounting for 9% of unique variance. Across the three depression measures, with two exceptions, all four of the more narrow vulnerabilities contributed significant unique variance ranging from 1 to 2%. Thirty-one percent of the variance in general anxiety symptoms was accounted for by the five vulnerabilities. Neuroticism again made the largest unique contribution (sr2 = .07), with CSQ and autonomy each making very small, but statistically significant additions. As a group, the five vulnerabilities accounted for 19% of the variance in symptoms of anxious arousal. The largest unique contributions came from neuroticism (sr2 = .03) and autonomy (sr2 = .02); the other three vulnerabilities did not make significant unique contributions. For social phobia symptoms, 34% of the variance was accounted for by the five vulnerabilities, with neuroticism (sr2 = .06) providing the largest contribution, and CSQ, sociotropy and autonomy each contributing 1% of unique variance. The vulnerabilities accounted for approximately 13% of the variance in agoraphobic/interoceptive fears. Neuroticism and sociotropy made significant unique contributions of 3 and 1% of variance, respectively. Finally, all five vulnerabilities accounted for about 13% of the variance in specific fears. Neuroticism made the largest unique contribution of about 6% of variance while DAS and sociotropy each contributed 1% of unique variance.
Regression analyses for simultaneous entry of neuroticism, cognitive styles, and personality-cognitive vulnerabilities with depression and anxiety symptoms
In sum, neuroticism made significant unique contributions to all depression and anxiety symptom measures, and made the largest unique contribution for all outcomes. Inferential style contributed uniquely only to depressive symptoms, general anxiety, and social fears. Dysfunctional attitudes contributed uniquely only to the depression composite, anhedonic depressive symptoms, and specific fears (an inverse relationship). Sociotropy made a significant unique contribution to general depressive symptoms, anhedonic symptoms (an inverse relationship), social fears, agoraphobic/interoceptive fears, and specific fears. Finally, autonomy made significant unique contributions to symptoms of depression, anxious arousal, general anxiety, and social phobia.
Overlap of the Five Vulnerabilities
For all symptom outcomes with the exception of anhedonic depression and specific fears, at least two-thirds of the variance accounted for by the vulnerabilities was shared among the vulnerabilities (range 68–76%; see last column of Table ). For anhedonic depression approximately 60% of the variance accounted for by the vulnerabilities was associated with shared factors. For specific fears, about 60% of the variance was accounted for by unique factors. Notably, N accounted for almost 75% of the unique variance in specific fears.
Analyses Predicting Anxiety Symptoms Using a Depression Symptom Covariate
To examine whether the significant relationships between these vulnerabilities and anxiety outcomes were fully explained by shared variance with depression, hierarchical regression analyses were conducted for all anxiety symptom outcomes: The depression symptom composite was entered on step 1 and the vulnerabilities were entered on step 2. These results are presented within parentheses in Tables and . Notably, the overall contribution of the vulnerabilities was substantially decreased relative to the original analyses; however, the group of vulnerabilities still accounted for significant variance for all outcomes except anxious arousal. These results suggest that the overlap of depression and anxiety symptoms largely, but not completely, explains the relationship between the vulnerabilities and anxiety outcomes. A second notable finding was that sociotropy (see Table ) and N (see Table ) were significant predictors of four anxiety outcomes beyond the depression composite, whereas CSQ was no longer significantly uniquely associated with any anxiety outcome.