HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Orlando, Florida, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

3rd Edition of Global Conference on

Addiction Medicine, Behavioral Health and Psychiatry

October 24-26, 2022 | Orlando, Florida, USA

GAB 2022

Risk Tolerance in Youth with Emerging Mood Disorders

Speaker at Addiction Medicine, Behavioral Health and Psychiatry 2022 - Ange Weinrabe
The University of Sydney, Australia
Title : Risk Tolerance in Youth with Emerging Mood Disorders


Risk-taking behaviour is common during youth. The time between adolescence and early adulthood, young people (aged 15-25 years) are more vulnerable to mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. What impact does an emerging mood disorder have on decision-making in youth at critical decision points in their lives? In this article, we explore the impact of risk and ambiguity on youth decision-making in a clinical setting using a well-known economic experiment. At two time points, separated by six to eight weeks, we measured risky and ambiguous choices concurrently with findings from three psychological questionnaires, the 10-item Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10), the 17-item Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology Adolescent Version (QIDS-A17), and the 12-item Somatic and Psychological Health Report (SPHERE-12), for young help seekers aged 16-25 (n=30, mean age 19.22 years, 19 males). When first arriving for care, we found that 50% (n=15) of participants experienced severe anxiety (K10 ≥ 30), were severely depressed (QIDS-A17 ≥ 16) and severely distressed (SPHERE-12). At Session 2, taking attrition rates into account (n=5), we found that 44% (n=11) remained severe across the full battery of questionnaires. When applying multiple regression analyses of the pooled sample of observations (N=55), across both sessions, we found that participants who rated severely anxious avoided making risky decisions. We suggest there is some statistically significant (although weak) (p=0.09) relation between risk and severe anxiety scores as measured by K10. Our findings may support working with novel tools with which to evaluate youth experiencing an emerging mood disorder and their cognitive capacities influencing decision-making.

What will audience learn from your presentation? 

• Learn more about tested and novel tools outside of psychiatry/psychology to empirically investigate cognitive impairment in youth.
• Evaluate decision-making in a clinical group at the early stages of/experiencing mood disorders.
• Risky and Ambiguous behaviour is often assumed to be acceptable behaviour in healthy youth at certain ages of neurodevelopment. This study highlights a) a possible conflation between what is a mental health diagnoses and general behaviour; and b) an underlying mood disorder not yet diagnosed.
• Early intervention tools from the cognitive sciences may inform clinicians.


Holding an Arts (Adv.) Hons Degree in Philosophy, The University of Sydney, and a Master’s in philosophy (Medicine) from the Brain and Mind Centre, Sydney Medical School, supervised by Mental Health pioneer Prof. Ian. B. Hickie, Angé published the hypothesis that dysregulated emotion (mainly anxiety) impairs decision-making in youth. Enrolled in a Ph.D. also at the University of Sydney, supervised by philosopher of science, Prof. Dominic Murphy, Angé is investigating the critical role and epidemiological value of culture when investigating explanatory models of addiction (substance and behavioural) in youth at critical stages of development.