Repetitive negative thinking and depressive symptoms are differentially related to response inhibition: The influence of non-emotional, socio-emotional, and self-referential stimuli

Evan T. Burdette, Kiara R. Timpano, Stephanie E. Novotny, Beatriz E. Yepes, Bethany C. Reeb-Sutherland, Jennifer C. Britton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Identifying transdiagnostic correlates of response inhibition deficits is important for understanding risk for internalizing disorders. Little work has compared the relationships between internalizing symptoms and repetitive negative thinking (RNT) with response inhibition across non-emotional and emotional domains, and no work has compared these relationships for inhibition of socio-emotional relative to self-referential stimuli. Undergraduate students (N = 71, 18.44 ± 0.71 years) selected on extremes of internalizing symptoms completed the Perseverative Thinking Questionnaire (PTQ) and a Go/No-Go paradigm using non-emotional stimuli, other individuals' sad facial expressions, and participants' own sad facial expressions. Participants exhibited more commission errors for sad facial expressions than non-emotional trials, though commission errors for others' and participants’ own sad facial expressions did not differ. Depressive symptoms were associated with poorer inhibition of non-emotional stimuli; however, PTQ scores were associated with more successful inhibition of non-emotional stimuli. Our results provide evidence that transdiagnostic RNT as assessed by the PTQ may be related to better inhibition in non-emotional domains, but negative emotional stimuli may interfere with successful inhibition for those with high RNT, while depressive symptoms were linked to poorer inhibition of non-emotional stimuli. These findings have implications for internalizing disorders, which often are accompanied by RNT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103989
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Volume147
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Repetitive negative thinking
  • Response inhibition
  • Transdiagnostic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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