Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 201–217

Automatic Thoughts and Psychological Symptoms: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of American and Spanish Students


DOI: 10.1007/s10608-005-3165-2

Cite this article as:
Calvete, E. & Connor-Smith, J.K. Cogn Ther Res (2005) 29: 201. doi:10.1007/s10608-005-3165-2


This study examined the structure of automatic thoughts and relations between automatic thoughts and psychological symptoms from a cross-cultural perspective. Spanish university students (N = 437) and American university students (N = 349) completed the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire-Revised (ATQ-R) and the Young Adult Self-Report. Results supported a hierarchical arrangement of cognitions in which four first-order categories of self-talk (Dissatisfaction, Negative Self-Concept, Inability to Cope, and Positive Thoughts) were encompassed by two broad factors of Positive and Negative Self-Talk. The pattern of associations between automatic thoughts and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and externalizing problems supported both the cognitive content-specificity theory and the tripartite model of anxiety and depression. Multiple group covariance structure analysis showed that the structure of the ATQ-R and relations between the ATQ-R and symptoms were comparable in both groups, suggesting that the nature of automatic thoughts is similar across Western cultures.


automatic thoughts self-talk tripartite model cross-cultural psychology depression anxiety externalizing problems 

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of DeustoBilbaoSpain
  2. 2.Oregon State University
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of DeustoBilbaoSpain

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