Earlier depression onsets are associated with more debilitating courses and poorer life quality, highlighting the importance of effective early intervention. Many youths fail to improve with evidence-based treatments for depression, likely due in part to heterogeneity within the disorder. Multi-method assessment of individual differences in positive and negative emotion processing could improve predictions of treatment outcomes. The current study examined self-report and neurophysiological measures of reward responsiveness and emotion regulation as predictors of response to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Adolescents (14–18 years) with depression (N = 70) completed monetary reward and emotion regulation tasks while electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded, and self-report measures of reward responsiveness, emotion regulation, and depressive symptoms at intake. Adolescents then completed a 16-session group CBT program, with depressive symptoms and clinician-rated improvement assessed across treatment. Lower reward positivity amplitudes, reflecting reduced neural reward responsiveness, predicted lower depressive symptoms with treatment. Larger late positive potential residuals during reappraisal, potentially reflecting difficulty with emotion regulation, predicted greater clinician-rated improvement. Self-report measures were not significant predictors. Results support the clinical utility of EEG measures, with impairments in positive and negative emotion processing predicting greater change with interventions that target these processes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health