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positive affect, anhedonia, depression, high-risk siblings, childhood depression

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While hedonic capacity is diminished during clinical depression, it is unclear whether that deficit constitutes a risk factor and/or persists after depression episodes remit. To examine these issues, adolescents with current/past major depression (probands; n=218), never depressed biological siblings of probands (n=207), and emotionally-well controls (n=183) were exposed to several positively valenced probes. Across baseline and hedonic probe conditions, controls consistently reported higher levels of positive affect than high-risk siblings, and siblings reported higher levels of positive affect than probands (remitted and depressed probands' reports were similar). Extent of positive affect across the protocol predicted adolescents' self-reports of social support network and parental reports of offspring's use of various adaptive mood repair responses in daily life. Attenuated hedonic responding among youths remitted from depression offers partial support for anhedonia as a trait, while its presence among never depressed high-risk siblings argues for anhedonia as a potential diathesis for clinical depression.

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Clinical Psychological Science, v. 4, issue 4, p. 661-674

This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in [Clinical Psychological Science. The final authenticated version is available online at:

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