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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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68. Neural and Self-Reported Reward Responsiveness as Predictors of Response to Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adolescent Depression

Although cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an efficacious treatment for depression in adolescents, many fail to respond. We examined event-related potential (ERP) and self-report measures of reward responsiveness (RR) as predictors of CBT response. Before treatment, 39 adolescents completed self-report measures of RR and symptoms and a monetary reward task in which the reward positivity (RewP) was scored in response to wins. Next, adolescents completed 8 weeks of CBT during which clinicians rated participant engagement. Symptom measures were repeated post-treatment. Adolescents who completed treatment (53%) had a larger pre-treatment RewP compared to those who ended early (p<.05). A blunted pre-treatment RewP predicted greater change in depressive symptoms, but not anxiety symptoms, at a trend level (p=.09). Finally, a trend emerged such that self-reported RR, but not RewP, predicted greater treatment engagement (p=.07). Enhanced neural RR may lead to greater motivation to complete treatment, while subjective experiences of RR predict observed engagement. At the same time, those with reduced pre-treatment RewP reported greater change in depressive symptoms, possibly because CBT might enhance RR through behavioral activation. Results highlight potential neural and self-report indicators of responses to CBT for depression and raise the importance of multi-method approaches.

Haley Green
Vanderbilt University

Samantha Pegg
Vanderbilt University

Autumn Kujawa
Vanderbilt University


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