Though there is a considerable amount of research supporting the association between stressful life events and major depression, there is a paucity of research concerning a range of other life stress constructs, non-depressive disorders, the role of stable personality traits, and gender differences. This study addresses these deficits by: (a) focusing on the association between interpersonal and noninterpersonal chronic life stress (CLS) and both depressive and anxiety disorders; (b) examining the roles of neuroticism and low extraversion in these associations; and (c) assessing gender differences. Participants were 603 adolescents from a study examining risk factors for emotional disorders. Depression and social phobia were associated with interpersonal CLS (IP-CLS), with neuroticism partially accounting for these associations. Low extraversion partially accounted for the association between social phobia and IP-CLS. Depression was also associated with non-interpersonal CLS (NI-CLS), but only in females. This study provides preliminary evidence for the importance of personality variables in explaining shared associations between stress and depression. Additionally, the stress-social phobia relationship is highlighted with no evidence supporting an association between other anxiety disorders and CLS.
- Chronic life stress