Examining reciprocal associations between a negative cognitive style and depressive symptoms in early adolescence

Karlijn Kindt*, Ron Scholte, Kathrin Schuck, Marloes Kleinjan, Jan Janssens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Depressive symptoms tend to increase in adolescence, and have been associated with the development of a negative cognitive style. Cognitive theories postulate that a negative cognitive style precedes the development of depressive symptoms while other theories suggest a negative cognitive style is a consequence. We examined the reciprocal relationship between a negative cognitive style and depressive symptoms over three measurements in a community sample of 720 adolescents (11-15 years; 52.8% male). Additionally, we examined the moderating effects of gender. An increased negative cognitive style predicted higher levels of depressive symptoms, but not vice versa. These patterns were found consistently and were not moderated by gender. The findings suggest that a pre-existing negative cognitive style influences the development of depressive symptoms, while a negative cognitive style develops independent of baseline levels of depressive symptoms. These effects do not differ between boys and girls. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-94
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Cognitive Therapy
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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