Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 287–299

The attributional Style Questionnaire


  • Christopher Peterson
    • University of Pennsylvania
  • Amy Semmel
    • University of Pennsylvania
  • Carl von Baeyer
    • University of Saskatchewan
  • Lyn Y. Abramson
    • State University of New York
  • Gerald I. Metalsky
    • State University of New York
  • Martin E. P. Seligman
    • Psychology DepartmentUniversity of Pennsylvania

DOI: 10.1007/BF01173577

Cite this article as:
Peterson, C., Semmel, A., von Baeyer, C. et al. Cogn Ther Res (1982) 6: 287. doi:10.1007/BF01173577


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.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1982