This study examined the associations between attachment style and cognitive style and depression and anxiety symptomatology. Using a college sample of 167 participants, the tripartite model of depression and anxiety (Clark & Watson, 1991) was employed to examine whether the construct of negative affectivity could account for the previously reported relationships between insecure attachment style and negative cognitive style and both depression and anxiety. Negative cognitive style and insecure attachment were found to be significantly associated with both depression and anxiety symptomatology. Although negative affectivity effectively accounted for the relationships between negative cognitive style and both depression and anxiety and could explain the relationship between insecure attachment and anxiety, it failed to account for the association between insecure attachment and depression. In addition, negative cognitive style and insecure attachment appeared to be independently and uniquely associated with negative affect, rather than forming a mediational relationship.
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- Go to article: The Relationship of Cognitive Style and Attachment Style to Depression and Anxiety in Young Adults
- Go to article: The Temple—Wisconsin Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression Project: Conceptual Background, Design, and Methods
The Temple—Wisconsin Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression Project: Conceptual Background, Design, and Methods
The Temple-Wisconsin Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression (CVD) project is a two-site, prospective longitudinal study designed to test the etiological hypotheses of two cognitive theories of depression: Hopelessness theory (Abramson, Metalsky, & Alloy, 1989; Alloy, Kelly, Mineka, & Clements, 1990) and Beck’s theory (Beck, 1967, 1987). In this article, we provide an overview of the CVD project, including the conceptual background, goals, rationale, and design of the project, as well as a description of the project sample and assessment methods. Separate articles will present empirical findings from the project.
- Go to article: Cognitive Styles and Life Events in Subsyndromal Unipolar and Bipolar Disorders: Stability and Prospective Prediction of Depressive and Hypomanic Mood Swings
Cognitive Styles and Life Events in Subsyndromal Unipolar and Bipolar Disorders: Stability and Prospective Prediction of Depressive and Hypomanic Mood Swings
We examined the interaction of cognitive styles and life events in predicting the depressive and hypomanic mood swings of 43 undergraduates meeting criteria for a subsyndromal mood disorder (i.e., cyclothymia, dysthymia, or hypomania) or no lifetime diagnosis. Participants completed symptom, cognitive style, and life events measures on three separate occasions as the different mood states characteristic of their subsyndromal disorder naturally occurred. Normal controls were assessed in three separate normal mood states at times yoked to participants in the three disorder groups. All groups’ attributional styles and dysfunctional attitudes remained stable across large changes in mood and symptomatology and cyclothymics’ cognitive styles were as negative as those of dysthymics. Moreover, hierarchical regression analyses indicated that participants’ attributional styles, as measured in a normal mood state (Time 1), in interaction with intervening life events predicted prospectively their depressive symptom changes at Times 2 and 3 and their hypomanic symptom changes at Time 2. These findings provide support for the cognitive vulnerability-stress hypothesis of the Hopelessness theory of depression (Abramson, Metalsky, & Alloy, 1989) and suggest that the logic of the Hopelessness theory’s vulnerability-stress hypothesis extends to the prediction of manic/hypomanic symptoms.
- Go to article: Childhood Emotional Maltreatment, Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression, and Self-Referent Information Processing in Adulthood: Reciprocal Relations
Childhood Emotional Maltreatment, Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression, and Self-Referent Information Processing in Adulthood: Reciprocal Relations
Previous work has established a relationship between reports of childhood emotional maltreatment and cognitive vulnerability to depression, as well as an association between cognitive vulnerability and self-referent information-processing biases. Findings from this study of individuals at low (LR) and high (HR) cognitive risk for depression revealed a relationship between reports of childhood emotional maltreatment and current information processing biases. Specifically, individuals with greater childhood emotional maltreatment exhibited more negative self-referent information processing. Moreover, cognitive risk mediated the relationship between childhood emotional maltreatment and these information-processing biases. Testing an alternate model, information-processing biases also mediated the relationship between childhood emotional maltreatment and cognitive risk.
- Go to article: Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression and Lifetime History of Axis I Psychopathology: A Comparison of Negative Cognitive Styles (CSQ) and Dysfunctional Attitudes (DAS)
Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression and Lifetime History of Axis I Psychopathology: A Comparison of Negative Cognitive Styles (CSQ) and Dysfunctional Attitudes (DAS)
The goal of this study was to “unpack” the “generic” cognitive vulnerability employed in the retrospective behavioral high-risk design of Alloy and colleagues (2000), one of the major publications emanating from the Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression (CAD) Project to date. To this end, we used a retrospective behavioral high-risk design with a new sample of unselected undergraduates and examined the unique association between lifetime history of clinically significant depression as well as other Axis I disorders (e.g., anxiety disorders, substance abuse disorders) and both dysfunctional attitudes (DAS, featured in Beck’s theory) and negative cognitive styles (CSQ, featured in hopelessness theory). We present results supporting the cognitive vulnerability factor featured in the hopelessness theory and the construct validity of the CSQ. Negative cognitive styles were more strongly and consistently associated with lifetime history of Research Diagnostic Criteria (RDC) major depression and hopelessness depression than were dysfunctional attitudes. These results suggest that negative cognitive styles, as assessed by the CSQ, were a potent component of the “generic” cognitive vulnerability effect in Alloy and associates’ (2000) retrospective behavioral high-risk design. Interestingly, negative cognitive styles also were significantly associated with a participant having had a past RDC anxiety diagnosis. Thus, consistent with past research, our results suggest that negative cognitive styles and dysfunctional attitudes are distinct constructs as measured by the CSQ and DAS, respectively. Of further interest, gender differences in depression were obtained with college women in our study exhibiting significantly greater lifetime history of RDC major depression than college men.
- Go to article: Repetitive Thought in Psychopathology: The Relation of Rumination and Worry to Depression and Anxiety Symptoms
Repetitive Thought in Psychopathology: The Relation of Rumination and Worry to Depression and Anxiety Symptoms
The relation between repetitive thought and depression and anxiety symptoms was examined in an undergraduate sample. Individuals completed self-report measures of rumination, worry, depression, and anxiety as well as other related constructs including private self-consciousness, looming maladaptive style, cognitive style, cognitive content, and future outlook. Regression analyses and tests for significant differences between partial correlations were utilized to assess the study hypotheses. The results indicated that rumination and worry overlap in their association with depression and anxiety symptoms, and that rumination may be an especially important component of this overlap. Secondary analyses demonstrated that rumination and worry are two distinct constructs, as their patterns of associations with related constructs were different.
- Go to article: Developmental Antecedents of Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression: Review of Findings From the Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression Project
Developmental Antecedents of Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression: Review of Findings From the Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression Project
In this article, we review findings from the Temple-Wisconsin Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression (CVD) Project (Alloy & Abramson, 1999) regarding potential developmental antecedents of cognitive vulnerability to depression after first briefly summarizing the evidence from the project that negative cognitive styles, information processing, and rumination do, in fact, provide vulnerability to depression. Based on the project findings, we suggest that a continuum of negative emotional feedback, ranging from low emotional warmth/acceptance and negative inferential feedback at the milder end to emotional abuse at the more severe end, may play an important role in the development of cognitive vulnerability to depression and depression itself.
- Go to article: Who Becomes a Depressive Ruminator? Developmental Antecedents of Ruminative Response Style
Developmental antecedents of ruminative response style were examined in 137 college freshmen, who were followed prospectively for 2.5 years. Reports of mothers’ and fathers’ psychologically overcontrolling parenting as well as a history of childhood sexual (for women only) and emotional maltreatment were all related to ruminative response style. In addition, ruminative response style mediated the relationships between these developmental factors and the number of major depressive episodes experienced by participants during the follow-up period. Potential explanations and important implications of these findings are discussed.
According to the cognitive vulnerability hypothesis of two major cognitive theories of depression, Beck’s (1967; 1987) theory and the hopelessness theory (Abramson, Metalsky, & Alloy, 1989), negative cognitive styles provide vulnerability to depression, particularly hopelessness depression (HD), when people encounter negative life events. The Temple-Wisconsin Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression (CVD) Project is a two-site, prospective longitudinal study designed to test this hypothesis as well as the other etiological hypotheses of Beck’s and the hopelessness theories of depression. We present findings from the CVD Project suggesting that the hypothesized depressogenic cognitive styles do indeed confer vulnerability for clinically significant depressive disorders and suicidality. In addition, we present evidence about the information processing and personality correlates of these styles. Finally, we discuss preliminary findings about the developmental origins of cognitive vulnerability to depression.