Associations among Executive Function and Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression in Young Adults
Depressive and anxiety symptoms are associated with cognitive impairments across the lifespan. Young adults are often overlooked in this area of research despite facing frequent academic and social challenges that are impacted by mental health and cognitive abilities. Moreover, studies suggest that subdimensions of depressive and anxiety symptoms have different cognitive correlates, but such relationships remain unclear in nonclinical populations. The present study examined the associations between depressive and anxiety symptoms and domains of cognitive functions, with a focus on executive functions, in a healthy young adult sample. Based on findings from previous literature on depression and anxiety and associated cognitive impairments, it was hypothesized that individuals with higher levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms would demonstrate worse cognitive functioning. Results of the present study indicate associations between the affective dimension of depressive symptoms and executive functions. In addition, age had a moderating effect on the relationship between overall anxiety symptoms and executive functions. Findings suggest that even if depressive and anxiety symptoms, especially in the affective dimension, do not meet clinical significance for diagnoses, they provide valuable information and should be regularly assessed in young adults. More research is needed in this area to investigate the potential casual relationships between dimensions of depressive and anxiety symptoms and domains of cognitive functions.
Wang, Ziyun, "Associations among Executive Function and Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression in Young Adults" (2022). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29169178.