How dysfunctional are dysfunctional attitudes?

  • In order to clarify further the role of Beck’s vulnerability-stress model in the early development of depression, this longitudinal study tested a threshold model of dysfunctional attitudes in children and adolescents. An initially asymptomatic sample of 889 youths aged 9–18 years completed measures of dysfunctional attitudes and depressive symptoms. Twenty months later, participants reported stressful life events and current depressive symptoms. Results support a threshold view of cognitive vulnerability as only dysfunctional attitudes above a certain threshold significantly interacted with life events to predict depressive symptoms. Thus, findings suggest that dysfunctional attitudes must exceed a certain threshold to confer vulnerability to depressive symptomatology in youth. The term “dysfunctional” might therefore only apply to higher levels of the “dysfunctional attitudes” proposed by A. T. Beck. Results also indicate that studies using non-clinical samples may systematically underestimate the effect of dysfunctional attitudesIn order to clarify further the role of Beck’s vulnerability-stress model in the early development of depression, this longitudinal study tested a threshold model of dysfunctional attitudes in children and adolescents. An initially asymptomatic sample of 889 youths aged 9–18 years completed measures of dysfunctional attitudes and depressive symptoms. Twenty months later, participants reported stressful life events and current depressive symptoms. Results support a threshold view of cognitive vulnerability as only dysfunctional attitudes above a certain threshold significantly interacted with life events to predict depressive symptoms. Thus, findings suggest that dysfunctional attitudes must exceed a certain threshold to confer vulnerability to depressive symptomatology in youth. The term “dysfunctional” might therefore only apply to higher levels of the “dysfunctional attitudes” proposed by A. T. Beck. Results also indicate that studies using non-clinical samples may systematically underestimate the effect of dysfunctional attitudes when relying on conventional linear methods.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author details:Susanne MeiserORCiDGND, Günter EsserORCiDGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-017-9842-0
ISSN:0147-5916
ISSN:1573-2819
Title of parent work (English):Cognitive Therapy and Research
Subtitle (English):a threshold model of dysfunctional attitudes and depressive symptoms in children and adolescents
Publisher:Springer
Place of publishing:New York
Publication type:Article
Language:English
Date of first publication:2017/03/17
Completion year:2017
Release date:2021/10/13
Tag:Adolescents; Children; Cognitive vulnerability; Depression; Dysfunctional attitudes; Threshold models
Volume:41
Number of pages:15
First page:730
Last Page:744
Funding institution:German Research Foundation ("Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft") [GRK 1668/1]
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Strukturbereich Kognitionswissenschaften / Department Psychologie
DDC classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Peer review:Referiert