Abstract

The relation between mood and cognitive status has been examined extensively over the years suggesting a significant impact of mood and potentially anxiety on memory. This relation is of particular interest to practitioners conducting evaluations in settings that regularly treat individuals diagnosed with psychiatric disorders. With this in mind, the present study sought to evaluate the impact of self-report of depression and anxiety on the California Verbal Learning Test—children's version (CVLT-C), the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT), and the California Verbal Learning Test—2nd edition (CVLT-2) in a mixed psychiatric sample. Records from 107 patients aged 6–78 evaluated in an outpatient psychiatry unit were examined. Results indicated minimal predictive utility was provided from self-report symptoms of anxiety or depression on CVLT-C, CVLT, or CVLT-2: Trial 1, Trial 5, total score, Short Delay Free Recall, Short Delay Cued Recall, long delay free recall, or long delay cued recall performance above the variance predicted by age, gender, and Full Scale IQ. Additional variance predicted by depression as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Child Depression Inventory (CDI) or anxiety as measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) was less than 3.0% over that accounted for by the covariates for the great majority of measurements from the various CVLT versions. Exceptions included the CDI that tended to account for approximately 5.0% of the variance on all of the CVLT-C measures and the STAI that accounted for approximately 5.0–10.0% additional variance on the short and long delay measures of the CVLT-2. The present results suggest that performance on the various forms of the CVLT are minimally predicted by self-reported depression and anxiety in a psychiatric setting.