Early Adversity and Symptom Variation in Depressed Adults

Master's Thesis


People who have experienced early adversity (EA) often have a more severe and chronic course of depression compared to those who never experienced EA. The pernicious depressive outcomes associated with EA have prompted research on the possible mechanisms by which those with EA develop such a difficult course. One potential mechanism involves the dysregulation of a critical component of the internal stress response system, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Preclinical research with non-human primates and rodents supports that the HPA system becomes dysregulated following EA and specific symptoms indicative of major depression result. Parallel to preclinical evidence, HPA dysregulation has also been consistently associated with EA and depression in humans. Prolonged HPA dysregulation may influence the manifestation of certain symptoms in depressed individuals with EA. The present study seeks to extend this line of research to evaluate whether EA predicts specific manifestations of depressive symptoms in humans suffering from major depression.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-11212011-133730

Author Andrew Steven Yoder
Advisor David A. Smith, Ph.D.
Contributor David A. Smith, Ph.D., Committee Member
Contributor Anne D. Simons, Ph.D., Committee Member
Contributor Scott M. Monroe, Committee Member
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Psychology
Degree Name MA
Defense Date
  • 2011-10-07

Submission Date 2011-11-21
  • United States of America

  • early life stress

  • subtype

  • early adversity

  • depression

  • HPA axis

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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