, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 287-299

The attributional Style Questionnaire

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Abstract

Of current interest are the causal attributions offered by depressives for the good and bad events in their lives. One important attributional account of depression is the reformulated learned helplessness model, which proposes that depressive symptoms are associated with an attributional style in which uncontrollable bad events are attributed to internal (versus external), stable (versus unstable), and global (versus specific) causes. We describe the Attributional Style Questionnaire, which measures individual differences in the use of these attributional dimensions. We report means, reliabilities, intercorrelations, and test-retest stabilities for a sample of 130 undergraduates. Evidence for the questionnaire's validity is discussed. The Attributional Style Questionnaire promises to be a reliable and valid instrument.

This work was supported by PHS grant MH-19604 to M. Seligman, NSF grant BNS76-22943 to the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant 463-80-0003 to C. von Baeyer. C. Peterson is now at Virgina Polytechnic Institute and State University. A Semmel is at the University of Texas, and L. Abramson and G. Metalsky are at the University of Wisconsin.