Repetitive negative thinking following exposure to a natural stressor prospectively predicts altered stress responding and decision-making in the laboratory

Caitlin A. Stamatis, Nikki A. Puccetti, Caroline J. Charpentier, Aaron S. Heller, Kiara R. Timpano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Repetitive negative thinking (RNT) represents a transdiagnostic risk factor for affective disorders, and stress is theorized to exacerbate this vulnerability. One mechanism by which stress may influence individual differences in psychiatric symptoms is through altered decision-making, and loss aversion in particular. The present study uses multiple methods to investigate the relationships between RNT, stress, and decision-making. We measured RNT in young adults (N = 90) recently exposed to a natural stressor, Hurricane Irma, and tested the influence of RNT on changes in affect, cortisol, and decision-making during a laboratory stress induction two months later. Post-hurricane RNT predicted greater increases in loss averse decision-making (β = 0.30 [0.14, 0.47], p < .001; rp2 = 0.079) and negative affect (β = 0.59 [0.37, 0.81], p < .001; rp2 = 0.319) during the early-phase response to the laboratory stressor, as well as poorer cortisol recovery (β = 0.32, [0.10, 0.54], p = .005; rp2 = 0.095) in the late-phase stress response. Results highlight the role of loss aversion and stress in understanding RNT as an affective vulnerability factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103609
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Volume129
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Cortisol
  • Decision-making
  • Loss aversion
  • Repetitive Negative thinking
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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