Dysfunctional Attitudes and Episodes of Major Depression: Predictive Validity and Temporal Stability in Never-Depressed, Depressed, and Recovered Women

Michael W. Otto, Bethany A. Teachman, Lee S. Cohen, Claudio N. Soares, Allison F. Vitonis, Bernard L. Harlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

In a large, community-based sample of women (N = 750), the authors examined the nature of associations between dysfunctional attitudes and depression. Dysfunctional attitudes were evaluated both as a vulnerability factor for depression and as a consequence of depression. A link was found between past depression and baseline elevations in dysfunctional attitudes that was independent of current subsyndromal symptoms, but intensification of dysfunctional attitudes following prospectively evaluated episodes of depression (depressive "scarring") was not observed. Although baseline dysfunctional attitudes predicted an episode of major depression over 3 years of prospective study, this prediction, considered alone or in interaction with negative life events, was redundant with that offered by history of past depression. Further, no significant prediction was evident for the Dysfunctional Attitude Scale (A. N. Weissman & A. T. Beck, 1978) when the formerly depressed and never-depressed cohorts were considered separately. Implications for cognitive theories are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-483
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Volume116
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2007

Keywords

  • cognitive vulnerability
  • depression
  • depressive scarring
  • dysfunctional attitudes

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