Elevated depression and anxiety predict future patterns of individualistic and collectivistic cultural values: A cross-lagged longitudinal network analysis

Serena Z. Chen, Nur Hani Zainal, Michelle G. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Specific components of independent and interdependent self-construal have been associated with psychopathology. However, most studies on this topic have been cross-sectional, precluding causal inferences. We used contemporaneous and temporal cross-lagged network analysis to establish weak causal effects in understanding the association between self-construal and psychopathology components. Methods: Middle-aged and older community-dwelling adults (n = 3294) participated in the Midlife Development in the United States study across two time-points, spaced nine years apart. Six self-construal (interdependence: connection to others, commitment to others, receptiveness to influence; independence: behavioral consistency, sense of difference from others, self-reliance) and three psychopathology nodes (major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and panic disorder (PD) symptom severity) were examined. All network analyses controlled for age, sex, race, and number of chronic illnesses as covariates. Results: Contemporaneous and temporal networks yielded relations between elevated MDD and PD and increased receptiveness to influence. Heightened GAD symptom severity was associated with future increased difference from others and decreased connection to others, commitment to others, and receptiveness to influence. Higher MDD, GAD, and PD severity were associated with future lower self-reliance. Network comparison tests revealed no consistent network differences across sex and race. Limitations: DSM-III-R measures of MDD, GAD, and PD were used. Results may not generalize to culturally diverse racial groups. Conclusions: Changes in self-construal may result from increased MDD, GAD, and PD severity. Findings suggest the importance of targeting common mental health symptoms to positively influence how individuals view the self and others in various social contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-320
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - Mar 15 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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