High school subject selection in depression related cognitive tests

Quinn, Z., Mitchell, D., Anscomb, H., and Baune, B. (2014) High school subject selection in depression related cognitive tests. In: Abstracts from the 49th Australian Psychological Society Annual Conference. 138. pp. 75-76. From: 49th Australian Psychological Society Annual Conference, 30 September - 3 October 2014, Hobart, TAS, Australia.

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Abstract

Aim: To investigate the effect of high school subject selection on cognitive tests relevant to young adults with depression. It was hypothesised that young adults (17-35) who studied advanced 76 mathematics rather than ordinary mathematics would perform significantly better on cognitive tests associated with problem solving such as Card Sort (perseverative errors) and Tower of London.

Design: Cross-sectional design with purposive sampling. Purposive sampling was used to target young adults who had experienced depressive symptoms. Method: Thirty seven young adults (M=20.05 years, SD=2.97; 28 female, 9 male) studied advanced mathematics and 78 young adults (M=20.19 years, SD=3.61; 57 female, 21 male) studied ordinary mathematics. Participants were classified as either the "advanced mathematics" group: scored at least one high achievement (B grade) with no fails in advanced mathematics A, advanced mathematics B, physics, or chemistry; or the "ordinary mathematics" group who studied ordinary mathematics in their senior year at high school. Participants completed a battery of cognitive tests and semi structured interviews to determine depression severity and disorder classification.

Results: Advanced mathematics group had significantly less: perseverative errors (p=.009), participants with depression (p=.004), depression severity (p=.002), anxiety severity (p=.015), number of depressive episodes (p=.035), and intelligence measure (p=.027) than the ordinary mathematics group. Other cognitive tests where the advanced group performed significantly better than the ordinary mathematics group included word recall trial 1 (p=.001), trial 2 (p=.036), and trial 3 (p=.023). A logistic regression with bootstrapping was run and demonstrated that perseverative errors (p=.016) as well as word recall trial 1 (p=.001) were still significant predictors of mathematics group when covaried with an intelligence measure, depression and anxiety variables.

Conclusion: Young adults who studied advanced mathematics had significantly fewer perseverative errors than young adults who studied ordinary mathematics even when controlling for differences in depression. School subject selection should be included in depression studies to better evaluate whether it is a mediating factor for perseverative errors which are considered a possible trait cognitive deficit for depression.

Item ID: 46430
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
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Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2016 01:07
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology @ 20%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1702 Cognitive Science > 170299 Cognitive Science not elsewhere classified @ 40%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 40%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 80%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine @ 20%
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