Impaired cardiac profile in adolescents with an increasing trajectory of anxiety when confronting an acute stressor

de la Torre-Luque, A., Fiol-Veny, A., Bornas, X. et al. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry (2017). doi:10.1007/s00787-017-1009-8

Maladaptive patterns of cardiac adjustment to stress in adolescents may reveal their vulnerability to anxiety disorders (ADs). Traditional research in this field has focused on anxiety levels, whereas the time course of anxiety has rarely been considered. Nevertheless, since overall anxiety decreases as adolescence progresses, increasing time courses are clinically relevant and can be associated with maladaptive contextual adjustment. In this study, the cardiac pattern of adjustment to stress in adolescents with increasing anxiety was analysed. A sample of 44 adolescents (M = 14.88 years, SD = 0.53, 45.45% boys) were exposed to a socially relevant stress induction protocol, and their cardiac functioning was recorded. Participants with a trajectory of increasing anxious symptomatology over a 12-month period (n = 24) showed attenuated heart rate levels in the stage of maximum stress in comparison to their non-increasing anxious counterparts (p < 0.05), as well as a heightened pattern of sample entropy throughout the stress induction (p < 0.05). These findings suggest a loss of cardiac flexibility in those adolescents at risk of ADs when confronting an acute stressor.

Uso de una red social segura para el estudio de la ansiedad en la adolescencia

Bornas, X.; Llabrés, J.; Balle, M.; de la Torre-Luque, A.; Fiol-Veny, A.

The aim of this paper is to introduce the TrANS Project and the first results obtained from two studies. This Project allows to examine trajectories of anxiety symptoms and state anxiety in adolescents by means of ICT, in particular a secure social network for data collection. Study 1 describes the structure and functioning of the secure social network XS2 and provides results of the participant’s login and use. Study 2 presents the fluctuations of the daily emotional state and the use of maladaptive emotion regulation strategies during an exam period, as well as the influence of risk factors on these fluctuations. In conclusion, the advantages derived from the use of a secure social network are emphasized, in comparison to other traditional data collection methods, in the study of the adolescent anxiety.

Attentional control, attentional network functioning, and emotion regulation styles

Miquel Tortella-Feliu, Alfonso Morillas-Romero, Maria Balle, Xavier Bornas, Jordi Llabrés, Antonia P Pacheco-Unguetti

University Institute for Research on Health Sciences , University of the Balearic Islands

Cognition and Emotion (Impact Factor: 2.52). 12/2013; DOI:10.1080/02699931.2013.860889

ABSTRACT Attentional network functioning in emotionally neutral conditions and self-reported attentional control (AC) were analysed as predictors of the tendency to engage in dysfunctional emotion regulation strategies. Diminished attentional orienting predicted an increased tendency to engage in brooding rumination, and enhanced alertness predicted a greater chance of suppression, beyond trait anxiety and self-reported AC, which were not predictive of either rumination or suppression. This is the first study to show that some forms of dysfunctional emotion regulation are related to the attentional network functioning in emotionally neutral conditions. Results are discussed in relation to regulatory temperament and anxiety-related attentional biases literature.

Effects of temperament and emotion regulation styles in determining negative emotional states.

Miquel Tortella-Feliu, Blanca Aguayo, Albert Sesé, Alfonso Morillas-Romero, Maria Balle, Joan Miquel Gelabert, Xavier Bornas, Jordi Llabrés
Universitat de les Illes Balears
Actas espanolas de psiquiatria (impact factor: 0.59). 11/2012; 40(6):315-22.

Introduction. The interplay of reactive and regulatory temperamental processes appears to be essential for a better understanding of emotional states and disorders. In this study we explored the prospective relationship between reactive temperament (negative affect), regulatory temperament (effortful control), negative emotion regulation styles (rumination and suppression) and self-recorded anxiety, worry, and avoidance in naturalistic conditions. Method. Thirty-two young adults were first assessed through questionnaires on negative affectivity, effortful control, and two forms of negative emotion regulation (rumination and suppression). After this they recorded anxiety, worry, and avoidance three times a day over 50 consecutive days through an on-line access electronic diary. Results. High levels of negative affect and low levels of effortful control were associated with higher levels of anxiety, worry, and avoidance (p<.01). The prospective association between negative affectivity and avoidance was moderated by effortful control (Total R2=.49). Moreover, the brooding facet of rumination totally mediated the association between negative affect and anxiety with a significant indirect effect (Effect=.30, Boot CI95%=.09 to .69). Conclusions. Avoidance patterns are significantly determined by negative affect – effortful control interaction and rumination, especially brooding, totally mediates the relationship between negative affect and anxiety.