, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp 437-444

Dysfunctional attitudes and the cognitive therapy for depression

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Abstract

Nineteen depressed community volunteers received a replication of the cognitive therapy group treatment used by Shaw (1977). Two groups were created based upon a median split of pretreatment scores on the Dysfunctional Attitude Scale (Weissman & Beck, Note 1). The Beck Depression Inventory, Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, Hopelessness Scale, and Social Adjustment Scale were administered prior to and following a 4-week treatment and following a 4-week follow-up. Subjects with higher initial levels of dysfunctional attitudes evidenced a poorer response to the treatment than their attitudinally more functional counterparts. This result was robust and held over a residual gain scoring procedure. Results lend support to the hypothesis that dysfunctional attitude level acts as a general psychopathological indicator.

Appreciation is expressed to R. Eric Nelson for his contribution as a member of the investigator's dissertation committee, to Brian Shaw for his treatment outline, to Richard Haase for his statistical assistance, and to Richard Heimberg for comments on an earlier draft.