Volume 8, Issue 3 (May & June 2017 -- 2017)                   BCN 2017, 8(3): 223-232 | Back to browse issues page

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Ajilchi B, Nejati V. Research Paper: Executive Functions in Students With Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Symptoms. BCN 2017; 8 (3) :223-232
URL: http://bcn.iums.ac.ir/article-1-718-en.html
1- Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.
2- Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

Introduction: This study aimed to investigate and compare the executive functions of students with depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms with those functions in healthy ones.
Methods: This study was a comparative and non-clinical analysis. The study population comprised all students of Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. A total of 448 students were recruited using convenience sampling method. They were also screened using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) test comprising 21 items. Of study participants, 30 people were depressed, 27 had anxiety, and 15 suffered from stress. Then, 50 control people were matched with them. Next, both groups were compared using the Stroop test, Wisconsin card sorting, and cognitive ability test. 
Results: Using MANOVA test, data analysis revealed no significant differences among 4 groups with regard to selective attention and shifting attention. Depressed group reacted rapidly as opposed to the anxiety group with regard to measures of shifting attention and cognitive abilities; it was observed that the memory, inhibition control, planning, and flexibility of the healthy group were better than those of the 3 other groups. 
Conclusion: The findings of this research raised specific issues in relation to the role of depression, anxiety, and stress in the disruption of the executive functions of sufferers. Selective and shifting attention and cognitive abilities are specifically affected in this regard. Meanwhile, the role of stress in impairing decision making and the major role of anxiety in impairing sustained attention was shown to be considerable.

Type of Study: Original | Subject: Clinical Neuroscience
Received: 2016/12/14 | Accepted: 2017/03/12 | Published: 2017/05/1

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