# Publications

2012
Sheridan, M. A., Fox, N. A., Zeanah, C. H., McLaughlin, K. A., & Nelson, C. A. (2012). Variation in neural development as a result of exposure to institutionalization early in childhood. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , 109 (32), 12927–12932.Abstract
We used structural MRI and EEG to examine brain structure and function in typically developing children in Romania (n = 20), children exposed to institutional rearing (n = 29), and children previously exposed to institutional rearing but then randomized to a high-quality foster care intervention (n = 25). In so doing, we provide a unique evaluation of whether placement in an improved environment mitigates the effects of institutional rearing on neural structure, using data from the only existing randomized controlled trial of foster care for institutionalized children. Children enrolled in the Bucharest Early Intervention Project underwent a T1-weighted MRI protocol. Children with histories of institutional rearing had significantly smaller cortical gray matter volume than never-institutionalized children. Cortical white matter was no different for children placed in foster care than never-institutionalized children but was significantly smaller for children not randomized to foster care. We were also able to explain previously reported reductions in EEG $\alpha$-power among institutionally reared children compared with children raised in families using these MRI data. As hypothesized, the association between institutionalization and EEG $\alpha$-power was partially mediated by cortical white matter volume for children not randomized to foster care. The increase in white matter among children randomized to an improved rearing environment relative to children who remained in institutional care suggests the potential for developmental "catch up" in white matter growth, even following extreme environmental deprivation.
2011
Mclaughlin, K., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2011). The role of rumination in promoting and preventing depression in adolescent girls. In T. Strauman, P. Costanzo, & J. Garber (Ed.), Depression in Adolescent Girls (pp. 112-129) . Guilford Press.
McLaughlin, K. A., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2011). Rumination as a transdiagnostic factor in depression and anxiety. Behaviour Research and Therapy , 49 (3), 186–193.Abstract
{The high rate of comorbidity among mental disorders has driven a search for factors associated with the development of multiple types of psychopathology, referred to as transdiagnostic factors. Rumination is involved in the etiology and maintenance of major depression, and recent evidence implicates rumination in the development of anxiety. The extent to which rumination is a transdiagnostic factor that accounts for the co-occurrence of symptoms of depression and anxiety, however, has not previously been examined. We investigated whether rumination explained the concurrent and prospective associations between symptoms of depression and anxiety in two longitudinal studies: one of adolescents (N=1065) and one of adults (N=1317). Rumination was a full mediator of the concurrent association between symptoms of depression and anxiety in adolescents (z=6.7, p\textless .001) and was a partial mediator of this association in adults (z=5.6, p\textless .001). In prospective analyses in the adolescent sample, baseline depressive symptoms predicted increases in anxiety, and rumination fully mediated this association (z=5.26, p\textless .001). In adults, baseline depression predicted increases in anxiety and baseline anxiety predicted increases in depression; rumination fully mediated both of these associations (z=2.35
Kessler, R. C., Coccaro, E. F., Fava, M., & McLaughlin, K. A. (2011). The Phenomenology and Epidemiology of Intermittent Explosive Disorder. The Oxford Handbook of Impulse Control Disorders. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is characterized by recurrent episodes of impulsive, uncontrollable aggression out of proportion to the severity of provoking agents. Few epidemiological studies have been carried out on the prevalence and correlates of IED. Data are reported here from the most recent and largest of these studies: the U.S. National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R) and the World Health Organization World Mental Health (WMH) surveys. These studies show that IED is a commonly occurring disorder that typically has an early age of onset, a persistent course, and strong comorbidity with a number of other usually secondary mental disorders. This disorder is almost twice as common among men as women. It is often associated with substantial distress and impairment. However, only a minority of people with IED obtain treatment for their uncontrollable anger. This combination of features makes IED an ideal target for early detection and intervention aimed at secondary prevention of anger attacks as well as primary prevention of secondary disorders.
Roberts, A. L., McLaughlin, K. A., Conron, K. J., & Koenen, K. C. (2011). Adulthood stressors, history of childhood adversity, and risk of perpetration of intimate partner violence. American Journal of Preventive Medicine , 40 (2), 128–138.Abstract
Miller, E., Breslau, J., Chung, W. - J. J., Green, J. G., McLaughlin, K. A., & Kessler, R. C. (2011). Adverse childhood experiences and risk of physical violence in adolescent dating relationships. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health , 65 (11), 1006–1013.Abstract
McLaughlin, K. A., Fox, N. A., Zeanah, C. H., & Nelson, C. A. (2011). Adverse rearing environments and neural development in children: the development of frontal electroencephalogram asymmetry. Biological Psychiatry , 70 (11), 1008–1015.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Children raised in institutional settings experience marked deprivation in social and environmental stimulation. This deprivation may disrupt brain development in ways that increase risk for psychopathology. Differential hemispheric activation of the frontal cortex is an established biological substrate of affective style that is associated with internalizing psychopathology. Previous research has never characterized the development of frontal electroencephalogram asymmetry in children or evaluated whether adverse rearing environments alter developmental trajectories. METHODS: A sample of 136 children (mean age = 23 months) residing in institutions in Bucharest, Romania, and a sample of community control subjects (n = 72) participated. Half of institutionalized children were randomized to a foster care intervention. Electroencephalogram data were acquired at study entry and at ages 30, 42, and 96 months. A structured diagnostic interview of psychiatric disorders was completed at 54 months. RESULTS: Children exhibited increases in right relative to left hemisphere frontal activation between the second and fourth years of life, followed by an increase in left relative to right hemisphere activation. Children reared in institutions experienced a prolonged period of increased right hemisphere activation and a blunted rebound in left frontal activation. Foster care placement was associated with improved developmental trajectories but only among children placed before 24 months. The development trajectory of frontal electroencephalogram asymmetry in early childhood predicted internalizing symptoms at 54 months. CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to adverse rearing environments can alter brain development, culminating in heightened risk for psychopathology. Interventions delivered early in life have the greatest potential to mitigate the long-term effects of these environments.
McLaughlin, K. A., Breslau, J., Green, J. G., Lakoma, M. D., Sampson, N. A., Zaslavsky, A. M., & Kessler, R. C. (2011). Childhood socio-economic status and the onset, persistence, and severity of DSM-IV mental disorders in a US national sample. Social Science & Medicine (1982) , 73 (7), 1088–1096.Abstract
Shear, M. K., McLaughlin, K. A., Ghesquiere, A., Gruber, M. J., Sampson, N. A., & Kessler, R. C. (2011). Complicated grief associated with hurricane Katrina. Depression and Anxiety , 28 (8), 648–657.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Although losses are important consequences of disasters, few epidemiological studies of disasters have assessed complicated grief (CG) and none assessed CG associated with losses other than death of loved one. METHODS: Data come from the baseline survey of the Hurricane Katrina Community Advisory Group, a representative sample of 3,088 residents of the areas directly affected by Hurricane Katrina. A brief screen for CG was included containing four items consistent with the proposed DSM-V criteria for a diagnosis of bereavement-related adjustment disorder. RESULTS: Fifty-eight and half percent of respondents reported a significant hurricane-related loss: Most-severe losses were 29.0% tangible, 9.5% interpersonal, 8.1% intangible, 4.2% work/financial, and 3.7% death of loved one. Twenty-six point one percent respondents with significant loss had possible CG and 7.0% moderate-to-severe CG. Death of loved one was associated with the highest conditional probability of moderate-to-severe CG (18.5%, compared to 1.1-10.5% conditional probabilities for other losses), but accounted for only 16.5% of moderate-to-severe CG due to its comparatively low prevalence. Most moderate-to-severe CG was due to tangible (52.9%) or interpersonal (24.0%) losses. Significant predictors of CG were mostly unique to either bereavement (racial-ethnic minority status, social support) or other losses (prehurricane history of psychopathology, social competence.). CONCLUSIONS: Nonbereavement losses accounted for the vast majority of hurricane-related possible CG despite risk of CG being much higher in response to bereavement than to other losses. This result argues for expansion of research on CG beyond bereavement and alerts clinicians to the need to address postdisaster grief associated with a wide range of losses.
Kessler, R. C., Ormel, J., Petukhova, M., McLaughlin, K. A., Green, J. G., Russo, L. J., Stein, D. J., et al. (2011). Development of lifetime comorbidity in the World Health Organization world mental health surveys. Archives of General Psychiatry , 68 (1), 90–100.Abstract
CONTEXT: Although numerous studies have examined the role of latent variables in the structure of comorbidity among mental disorders, none has examined their role in the development of comorbidity. OBJECTIVE: To study the role of latent variables in the development of comorbidity among 18 lifetime DSM-IV disorders in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys. DESIGN: Nationally or regionally representative community surveys. SETTING: Fourteen countries. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 21 229 survey respondents. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: First onset of 18 lifetime DSM-IV anxiety, mood, behavior, and substance disorders assessed retrospectively in the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview. RESULTS: Separate internalizing (anxiety and mood disorders) and externalizing (behavior and substance disorders) factors were found in exploratory factor analysis of lifetime disorders. Consistently significant positive time-lagged associations were found in survival analyses for virtually all temporally primary lifetime disorders predicting subsequent onset of other disorders. Within-domain (ie, internalizing or externalizing) associations were generally stronger than between-domain associations. Most time-lagged associations were explained by a model that assumed the existence of mediating latent internalizing and externalizing variables. Specific phobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder (internalizing) and hyperactivity and oppositional defiant disorders (externalizing) were the most important predictors. A small number of residual associations remained significant after controlling the latent variables. CONCLUSIONS: The good fit of the latent variable model suggests that common causal pathways account for most of the comorbidity among the disorders considered herein. These common pathways should be the focus of future research on the development of comorbidity, although several important pairwise associations that cannot be accounted for by latent variables also exist that warrant further focused study.
Kessler, R. C., Cox, B. J., Green, J. G., Ormel, J., McLaughlin, K. A., Merikangas, K. R., Petukhova, M., et al. (2011). The effects of latent variables in the development of comorbidity among common mental disorders. Depression and Anxiety , 28 (1), 29–39.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Although numerous studies have examined the role of latent predispositions to internalizing and externalizing disorders in the structure of comorbidity among common mental disorders, none examined latent predispositions in predicting development of comorbidity. METHODS: A novel method was used to study the role of latent variables in the development of comorbidity among lifetime DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Surveys. Broad preliminary findings are briefly presented to describe the method. The method used survival analysis to estimate time-lagged associations among 18 lifetime DSM-IV anxiety, mood, behavior, and substance disorders. A novel estimation approach examined the extent to which these predictive associations could be explained by latent canonical variables representing internalizing and externalizing disorders. RESULTS: Consistently significant positive associations were found between temporally primary and secondary disorders. Within-domain time-lagged associations were generally stronger than between-domain associations. The vast majority of associations were explained by a model that assumed mediating effects of latent internalizing and externalizing variables, although the complexity of this model differed across samples. A number of intriguing residual associations emerged that warrant further investigation. CONCLUSIONS: The good fit of the canonical model suggests that common causal pathways account for most comorbidity among the disorders considered. These common pathways should be the focus of future research on the development of comorbidity. However, the existence of several important residual associations shows that more is involved than simple mediation. The method developed to carry out these analyses provides a unique way to pinpoint these significant residual associations for subsequent focused study.
McLaughlin, K. A., Hatzenbuehler, M. L., Mennin, D. S., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2011). Emotion dysregulation and adolescent psychopathology: a prospective study. Behaviour Research and Therapy , 49 (9), 544–554.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Emotion regulation deficits have been consistently linked to psychopathology in cross-sectional studies. However, the direction of the relationship between emotion regulation and psychopathology is unclear. This study examined the longitudinal and reciprocal relationships between emotion regulation deficits and psychopathology in adolescents. METHODS: Emotion dysregulation and symptomatology (depression, anxiety, aggressive behavior, and eating pathology) were assessed in a large, diverse sample of adolescents (N=1065) at two time points separated by seven months. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the longitudinal and reciprocal relationships between emotion dysregulation and symptoms of psychopathology. RESULTS: The three distinct emotion processes examined here (emotional understanding, dysregulated expression of sadness and anger, and ruminative responses to distress) formed a unitary latent emotion dysregulation factor. Emotion dysregulation predicted increases in anxiety symptoms, aggressive behavior, and eating pathology after controlling for baseline symptoms but did not predict depressive symptoms. In contrast, none of the four types of psychopathology predicted increases in emotion dysregulation after controlling for baseline emotion dysregulation. CONCLUSIONS: Emotion dysregulation appears to be an important transdiagnostic factor that increases risk for a wide range of psychopathology outcomes in adolescence. These results suggest targets for preventive interventions during this developmental period of risk.
Hatzenbuehler, M. L., Keyes, K. M., & McLaughlin, K. A. (2011). The protective effects of social/contextual factors on psychiatric morbidity in LGB populations. International Journal of Epidemiology , 40 (4), 1071–1080.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) populations evidence higher rates of psychiatric disorders than heterosexuals, but most LGB individuals do not have mental-health problems. The present study examined risk modifiers at the social/contextual level that may protect LGB individuals from the development of psychiatric disorders. METHODS: Data are drawn from Wave 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (N = 34,653), a nationally representative study of non-institutionalized US adults. Risk variables included social isolation and economic adversity. High state-level concentration of same-sex couples, obtained from the US Census, was examined as a protective factor. RESULTS: The past-year prevalence of major depression and generalized anxiety disorder was lower among LGB respondents living in states with higher concentrations of same-sex couples, compared with LGB respondents in states with lower concentrations. Additionally, the increased risk for mood and anxiety disorders among LGB individuals exposed to economic adversity and social isolation was evident only in states with low concentrations of same-sex couples. These interactions between the risk and protective factors were not found among heterosexuals, suggesting specificity of the effects to LGB individuals. Results were not attenuated after controlling for socio-demographic factors, state-level income inequality, state-level policies targeting LGBs and state-level attitudes towards LGB-relevant issues. CONCLUSIONS: These results provide evidence for the protective effect of social/contextual influences on the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in LGB individuals. Measures of the social environment should be incorporated into future research on the mental health of LGB populations.
Bos, K., Zeanah, C. H., Fox, N. A., Drury, S. S., McLaughlin, K. A., & Nelson, C. A. (2011). Psychiatric outcomes in young children with a history of institutionalization. Harvard Review of Psychiatry , 19 (1), 15–24.Abstract
Children raised in institutions, considered an extreme example of social deprivation, are one group through which we can better understand the impact of neglect on child health and development. The Bucharest Early Intervention Project (BEIP) is the first randomized, controlled trial of foster care as an intervention for institutionalized children. In this review we describe the mental health outcomes from the BEIP. Specifically, we report findings on attachment styles, attachment disorders, emotional reactivity, and psychiatric symptomatology for children in the BEIP. We describe the impact of the foster care intervention on these outcomes and also describe how outcomes differ by gender and by length of time spent in the institution. In addition, we explore the influence of genetic variation on individual outcomes and recovery from early severe social deprivation, as well as the role of differences in brain development in mediating later psychiatric morbidity. The results from the BEIP confirm and extend the previous findings on the negative sequelae of early institutional care on mental health. The results also underscore the benefit of early family placement for children living in institutions.
McLaughlin, K. A. (2011). The public health impact of major depression: a call for interdisciplinary prevention efforts. Prevention Science: The Official Journal of the Society for Prevention Research , 12 (4), 361–371.Abstract
Major depression is a consequential public health problem in the United States. Depression has long been recognized as an important target of intervention in psychology and psychiatry, but these fields have focused efforts primarily on treatment rather than prevention. Although effective preventive interventions targeting high-risk groups have been developed, they have thus far had poor reach and sustainability in the community. The development of sustainable preventive interventions that have the potential to impact population health represents a critical goal for the field. To this end, a research agenda incorporating the perspectives of both mental health disciplines and public health is proposed as a guide for future depression prevention research. Increased interdisciplinary collaboration between mental health disciplines and public health is recommended to develop, enact, and evaluate multilevel preventive interventions aimed at reducing the population health burden of major depression.
McLaughlin, K. A., Berglund, P., Gruber, M. J., Kessler, R. C., Sampson, N. A., & Zaslavsky, A. M. (2011). Recovery from PTSD following Hurricane Katrina. Depression and Anxiety , 28 (6), 439–446.Abstract
BACKGROUND: We examined patterns and correlates of speed of recovery of estimated posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among people who developed PTSD in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. METHOD: A probability sample of prehurricane residents of areas affected by Hurricane Katrina was administered a telephone survey 7-19 months following the hurricane and again 24-27 months posthurricane. The baseline survey assessed PTSD using a validated screening scale and assessed a number of hypothesized predictors of PTSD recovery that included sociodemographics, prehurricane history of psychopathology, hurricane-related stressors, social support, and social competence. Exposure to posthurricane stressors and course of estimated PTSD were assessed in a follow-up interview. RESULTS: An estimated 17.1% of respondents had a history of estimated hurricane-related PTSD at baseline and 29.2% by the follow-up survey. Of the respondents who developed estimated hurricane-related PTSD, 39.0% recovered by the time of the follow-up survey with a mean duration of 16.5 months. Predictors of slow recovery included exposure to a life-threatening situation, hurricane-related housing adversity, and high income. Other sociodemographics, history of psychopathology, social support, social competence, and posthurricane stressors were unrelated to recovery from estimated PTSD. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of adults who developed estimated PTSD after Hurricane Katrina did not recover within 18-27 months. Delayed onset was common. Findings document the importance of initial trauma exposure severity in predicting course of illness and suggest that pre- and posttrauma factors typically associated with course of estimated PTSD did not influence recovery following Hurricane Katrina.
McLaughlin, K. A., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2011). Rumination as a transdiagnostic factor in depression and anxiety. Behaviour Research and Therapy , 49 (3), 186–193.Abstract
{The high rate of comorbidity among mental disorders has driven a search for factors associated with the development of multiple types of psychopathology, referred to as transdiagnostic factors. Rumination is involved in the etiology and maintenance of major depression, and recent evidence implicates rumination in the development of anxiety. The extent to which rumination is a transdiagnostic factor that accounts for the co-occurrence of symptoms of depression and anxiety, however, has not previously been examined. We investigated whether rumination explained the concurrent and prospective associations between symptoms of depression and anxiety in two longitudinal studies: one of adolescents (N=1065) and one of adults (N=1317). Rumination was a full mediator of the concurrent association between symptoms of depression and anxiety in adolescents (z=6.7, p\textless .001) and was a partial mediator of this association in adults (z=5.6, p\textless .001). In prospective analyses in the adolescent sample, baseline depressive symptoms predicted increases in anxiety, and rumination fully mediated this association (z=5.26, p\textless .001). In adults, baseline depression predicted increases in anxiety and baseline anxiety predicted increases in depression; rumination fully mediated both of these associations (z=2.35
McLaughlin, K. A., Xuan, Z., Subramanian, S. V., & Koenen, K. C. (2011). State-level women's status and psychiatric disorders among US women. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology , 46 (11), 1161–1171.Abstract
PURPOSE: Although greater gender equality at the state-level is associated with fewer depressive symptoms in women after controlling for individual-level confounders, the extent to which state-level women's status is related to psychiatric disorders in women and gender differences in psychopathology has never been examined. We examined these associations in the current report. METHODS: We used data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (n=34,653), a national probability sample of US adults. Respondents completed structured diagnostic assessments of DSM-IV psychiatric disorders. We used generalized estimating equations to examine associations between four state-level indicators of women's status (political participation, employment/earnings, social/economic autonomy, and reproductive rights) and odds of 12-month mood and anxiety disorders among women. We also tested whether women's status predicted the magnitude of gender differences in psychiatric disorders. RESULTS: State-level political participation, employment/earnings, and social/economic autonomy were unrelated to odds of 12-month mood and anxiety disorders among women. However, the prevalence of major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder was lower in states where women have greater reproductive rights (OR 0.93-0.95), controlling for individual-level risk factors. None of the women's status indicators predicted gender differences in mood and anxiety disorder prevalence. CONCLUSIONS: State-level women's status was largely unrelated to mood and anxiety disorders in women or to gender differences in these disorders. Investigation of social factors that play a role in shaping the distribution of individual-level risk factors that are associated with gender disparities in psychiatric disorders represents an important avenue for future research.
2010
McLaughlin, K. A., Green, J. G., Gruber, M. J., Sampson, N. A., Zaslavsky, A. M., & Kessler, R. C. (2010). Childhood adversities and adult psychopathology in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R) III: Associations with functional impairment related to DSM-IV disorders. Psychological medicine , 40 (5), 847–859. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Background Despite evidence that childhood adversities (CAs) are associated with increased risk of mental disorders, little is known about their associations with disorder-related impairment. We report the associations between CAs and functional impairment associated with 12-month DSM-IV disorders in a national sample. Methods Data come from the US National Comorbidity Survey-Replication. Respondents completed diagnostic interviews that assessed 12-month DSM-IV disorder prevalence and impairment. Associations of 12 retrospectively reported CAs with impairment among cases (n = 2,242) were assessed using multiple regression analysis. Impairment measures included a dichotomous measure of classification in the severe range of impairment on the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS) and a measure of self-reported number of days out of role due to emotional problems in the past 12 months. Results CAs were positively and significantly associated with impairment. Predictive effects of CAs on the SDS were particularly pronounced for anxiety disorders and were significant in predicting increased days out of role associated with mood, anxiety, and disruptive behavior disorders. Predictive effects persisted throughout the life-course and were not accounted for by disorder comorbidity. CAs associated with maladaptive family functioning (MFF) (parental mental illness, substance disorder, criminality, family violence, abuse, neglect) were more consistently associated with impairment than other CAs. The joint effects of comorbid MFF CAs were significantly sub-additive. Simulations suggest that CAs account for 19.6% of severely impairing disorders and 17.4% of days out of role. Conclusions CAs predict greater disorder-related impairment, highlighting the ongoing clinical significance of CAs at every stage of the life-course.
McLaughlin, K. A., Conron, K. J., Koenen, K. C., & Gilman, S. E. (2010). Childhood adversity, adult stressful life events, and risk of past-year psychiatric disorder: a test of the stress sensitization hypothesis in a population-based sample of adults. Psychological Medicine , 40 (10), 1647–1658. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Background. Childhood adversity (CA) is associated with adult mental disorders, but the mechanisms underlying this association remain inadequately understood. Stress sensitization, whereby CA increases vulnerability to mental disorders following adult stressful life events, has been proposed as a potential mechanism. We provide a test of the stress sensitization hypothesis in a national sample. Method. We investigated whether the association between past-year stressful life events and the 12-month prevalence of major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), other anxiety disorders, and perceived stress varies according to exposure to CA. We used data from the National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) (n=34 653). Results. Past-year stressful life events were associated with an increased risk of major depression, PTSD, anxiety disorders, and perceived stress. However, the magnitude of the increased risk varied according to respondents’ history of CA. For example, past-year major stressors were associated with a 27.3 % increase in the 12-month risk of depression among individuals with o3 CAs and a 14.8 % increased risk among individuals without CAs. Stress sensitization effects were present for depression, PTSD, and other anxiety disorders in women and men, although gender differences were found in the threshold of past-year stress needed to trigger such effects. Stress sensitization was most evident among individuals with o3 CAs. Conclusions. CA is associated with increased vulnerability to the deleterious mental health effects of adult stressors in both men and women. High levels of CA may represent a general diathesis for multiple types of psychopathology that persists throughout the life course.