Attributional style and depression: A prospective study of adolescent females

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Dewhirst, Pendle
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Mount Saint Vincent University
Negative life events (NLEs), attributional style (AS), and depression were prospectively examined with adolescent girls, with youth assessments every 6 months (grades 9 -11) and parent reports of childhood NLEs at baseline. Growth curve modeling revealed that both AS and NLEs predicted depression at baseline. With AS controlled, those with high NLEs showed a decline in depression over time, such that childhood NLEs were not linked with depression thereafter. However, with NLEs controlled, those with a depressogenic AS at baseline showed more depressive symptoms at all points throughout follow-up. At the sixth assessment, girls also completed a NLEs questionnaire for high school years. Depression was related to both baseline and 30-month AS, and high school, but not childhood, NLEs. Thus, NLEs and AS were important predictors of depression. However, the link between NLEs and depression appears to be temporal and dissipates over time, whereas AS has a consistent impact over time.
Attributional style , Depression , Adolescent Females