Publications by Year: 2014

McLaughlin, K. A., Aldao, A., Wisco, B. E., & Hilt, L. M. (2014). Rumination as a transdiagnostic factor underlying transitions between internalizing symptoms and aggressive behavior in early adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Psychology , 123 (1), 13–23.Abstract
The high degree of comorbidity among mental disorders has generated interest in identifying transdiagnostic processes associated with multiple types of psychopathology. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema conceptualized rumination as one such transdiagnostic process associated with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, binge eating, and self-injurious behavior. The degree to which rumination accounts for the co-occurrence of internalizing and externalizing psychopathology, however, has never been tested. We used a sample of early adolescents (N = 1,065) assessed at 3 time points spanning 7 months to examine (a) the reciprocal prospective associations between rumination and aggressive behavior in adolescents, (b) whether rumination explained the longitudinal associations of aggressive behavior with depression and anxiety symptoms, and (c) gender differences in these associations. Rumination predicted increases over time in aggressive behavior, and aggression was associated with increases in rumination over time only for boys. Rumination fully mediated the longitudinal association of aggression with subsequent anxiety symptoms and of both depression and anxiety symptoms with subsequent aggression in boys but not girls. Rumination did not explain the association between aggression and subsequent depressive symptoms for either boys or girls. These findings provide novel evidence for the role of rumination as a transdiagnostic factor underlying transitions between internalizing and externalizing symptoms among males during early adolescence. Interventions aimed at reducing rumination may have beneficial influences on multiple forms of psychopathology and on the development of comorbidity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
Everett, B. G., Rosario, M., McLaughlin, K. A., & Austin, S. B. (2014). Sexual orientation and gender differences in markers of inflammation and immune functioning. Annals of Behavioral Medicine: A Publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine , 47 (1), 57–70.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Sexual minorities have documented elevated risk factors that can lead to inflammation and poor immune functioning. PURPOSE: This study aims to investigate disparities in C-reactive protein (CRP) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) by gender and sexual orientation. METHODS: We used the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine disparities in CRP (N = 11,462) and EBV (N = 11,812). RESULTS: Among heterosexuals, women had higher levels of CRP and EBV than men. However, sexual minority men had higher levels of CRP and EBV than heterosexual men and sexual minority women. Lesbians had lower levels of CRP than heterosexual women. CONCLUSIONS: Gender differences in CRP and EBV found between men and women who identify as 100 % heterosexual were reversed among sexual minorities and not explained by known risk factors (e.g., victimization, alcohol and tobacco use, and body mass index). More nuanced approaches to addressing gender differences in sexual orientation health disparities that include measures of gender nonconformity and minority stress are needed.
Hatzenbuehler, M. L., Slopen, N., McLaughlin, K. A., & McLaughlin, K. A. (2014). Stressful life events, sexual orientation, and cardiometabolic risk among young adults in the United States. Health Psychology: Official Journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association , 33 (10), 1185–1194.Abstract
{OBJECTIVE: The goal of the present study was to examine whether sexual minority young adults are more vulnerable to developing cardiometabolic risk following exposure to stressful life events than heterosexual young adults. METHOD: Data came from the National Longitudinal Study for Adolescent Health (Shin, Edwards, & Heeren, 2009; Brummett et al., 2013), a prospective nationally representative study of U.S. adolescents followed into young adulthood. A total of 306 lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) respondents and 6,667 heterosexual respondents met inclusion criteria for this analysis. Measures of cumulative stressful life events were drawn from all 4 waves of data collection; sexual orientation and cardiometabolic biomarkers were assessed at Wave 4 (2008-2009). RESULTS: Gay/bisexual men exposed to 1-2 ($\beta$ = 0.71
Hatzenbuehler, M. L., & McLaughlin, K. A. (2014). Structural stigma and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis reactivity in lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults. Annals of Behavioral Medicine: A Publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine , 47 (1), 39–47.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Youth exposed to extreme adverse life conditions have blunted cortisol responses to stress. PURPOSE: This study aims to examine whether growing up in highly stigmatizing environments similarly shapes stigmatized individuals' physiological responses to identity-related stress. METHODS: We recruited 74 lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults (mean age = 23.68) from 24 states with varying levels of structural stigma surrounding homosexuality. State-level structural stigma was coded based on several dimensions, including policies that exclude sexual minorities from social institutions (e.g., same-sex marriage). Participants were exposed to a laboratory stressor, the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), and neuroendocrine measures were collected. RESULTS: Lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults who were raised in highly stigmatizing environments as adolescents evidenced a blunted cortisol response following the TSST compared to those from low-stigma environments. CONCLUSIONS: The stress of growing up in environments that target gays and lesbians for social exclusion may exert biological effects that are similar to traumatic life experiences.
McLaughlin, K. A., Alves, S., & Sheridan, M. A. (2014). Vagal regulation and internalizing psychopathology among adolescents exposed to childhood adversity. Developmental Psychobiology , 56 (5), 1036–1051.Abstract
Childhood adversity (CA) is strongly associated with youth psychopathology. Identifying factors that reduce vulnerability following CA is critical for developing preventive interventions. Vagal tone and vagal reactivity following psychosocial stressors might influence psychopathology among youths exposed to CA. We acquired heart period and impedance cardiography data to calculate respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and preejection period (PEP) from 157 adolescents aged 13-17 years at rest and during the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Internalizing and externalizing symptoms and multiple forms of CA were assessed. Resting RSA and RSA reactivity interacted with CA in predicting internalizing but not externalizing psychopathology; CA was unassociated with internalizing problems in adolescents with high resting RSA and RSA reactivity. No interactions were observed with PEP. High resting RSA predicted greater vagal rebound and accelerated heart rate recovery following the TSST, highlighting one potential mechanism underlying low internalizing symptoms following CA among youths with high vagal tone.
McLaughlin, K. A., Sheridan, M. A., Winter, W., Fox, N. A., Zeanah, C. H., & Nelson, C. A. (2014). Widespread reductions in cortical thickness following severe early-life deprivation: a neurodevelopmental pathway to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Biological Psychiatry , 76 (8), 629–638.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Children exposed to early-life psychosocial deprivation associated with institutional rearing are at markedly elevated risk of developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Neurodevelopmental mechanisms that explain the high prevalence of ADHD in children exposed to institutionalization are unknown. We examined whether abnormalities in cortical thickness and subcortical volume were mechanisms explaining elevations in ADHD among children raised in institutional settings. METHODS: Data were drawn from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, a cohort of children raised from early infancy in institutions in Romania (n = 58) and age-matched community control subjects (n = 22). Magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired when children were aged 8 to 10 years, and ADHD symptoms were assessed using the Health and Behavior Questionnaire. RESULTS: Children reared in institutions exhibited widespread reductions in cortical thickness across prefrontal, parietal, and temporal regions relative to community control subjects. No group differences were found in the volume of subcortical structures. Reduced thickness across numerous cortical areas was associated with higher levels of ADHD symptoms. Cortical thickness in lateral orbitofrontal cortex, insula, inferior parietal cortex, precuneus, superior temporal cortex, and lingual gyrus mediated the association of institutionalization with inattention and impulsivity; additionally, supramarginal gyrus thickness mediated the association with inattention and fusiform gyrus thickness mediated the association with impulsivity. CONCLUSIONS: Severe early-life deprivation disrupts cortical development resulting in reduced thickness in regions with atypical function during attention tasks in children with ADHD, including the inferior parietal cortex, precuneus, and superior temporal cortex. These reductions in thickness are a neurodevelopmental mechanism explaining elevated ADHD symptoms in children exposed to institutional rearing.