Association between comorbid anxiety disorders and function in depressed mothers: Does this differ by race?

Thalia MacMillan, Fordham University

Abstract

Two out of every ten individuals in the United States experience a major depressive disorder or dysthymic disorder in their lifetime (Kessler et al., 2005), with women experiencing a higher burden of the disease than men. The aim of this study was to examine how comorbid anxiety disorder in mothers with either MDD or DD is associated with function and role performance, and whether this is moderated by ethnicity. A volunteer sample of 150 women who were attending outpatient clinics was obtained. Measures included: SCID for DSM-IV, SAS-SR, the Self-Perception Profile (SPP) for adults, the Beck Hopelessness Scale, ethnicity, age, educational attainment, marital status, and employment status. ^ Mothers with DD were more likely to have an anxiety disorder than mothers with MDD. Mothers with DD with anxiety had the worse global function, followed by mothers with MDD with anxiety, then mothers with DD without anxiety. Mothers with MDD without anxiety did not have significantly worse function than normal controls. The multivariable analyses determined that those with DD with anxiety had a higher increase in level of difficulty with role performance in primary relationships, as a family unit, in social and leisure activities, and at work. Those with MDD with anxiety had a higher increase in level of difficulty with role performance with extended family and parenting. Due to low statistical power, ethnicity was not associated with function or role performance. Global self-worth and level of hopelessness were also associated with function and role performance. These results are consistent with previous studies that have determined that individuals with DD have worse levels of function and role performance. This study contributes to the knowledge base because the association between depressive diagnostic group with and without comorbid anxiety with function and role performance has not been previously examined. Implications for social work include: (1) practitioners needs to take into account the complex picture of comorbid depression and anxiety in women as it may cause differences in function and role performance; (2) advocate for additional clinical interventions when needed; and (3) understand the difference between acute and chronic depression and their effect on function and role performance. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Behavioral|Social Work|Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Thalia MacMillan, "Association between comorbid anxiety disorders and function in depressed mothers: Does this differ by race?" (January 1, 2010). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3415536.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3415536

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