Anxiety disorders, depression, and attributional style: A further test of the specificity of depressive attributions
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
This study examined the specificity to depression of the attributional style hypothesized by the reformulated model of learned helplessness. Scores on a modified version of the Attributional Style Questionnaire of patients with dysthymic disorder were compared with those of anxiety disorder patients (social phobic, agoraphobic, and panic disorder) and normal subjects. While dysthymic patients demonstrated more internal, global, and stable attributions for negative events than normals, they did not systematically differ from social phobic or agoraphobic subjects. All groups differed from all the other groups on the Beck Depression Inventory. Analysis of covariance that controlled for depression scores suggested that depression contributed substantially to attributional style, but anxiety disorder diagnosis also exerted a significant effect on some attributional measures. These findings are discussed in terms of their meaning for the reformulated model of learned helplessness and the role of attributional processes in anxiety disorders.
- Abramson, L. Y., Seligman, M. E. P., & Teasdale, J. D. (1978). Learned helplessness in humans: Critique and reformulation.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 87 49–74.
- American Psychiatric Association. (1980).Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
- American Psychiatric Association. (1987).Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed., rev.). Washington, DC: Author.
- Amies, P. L., Gelder, M. G., & Shaw, P. M. (1983). Social phobia: A comparative clinical study.British Journal of Psychiatry, 142 174–179.
- Barlow, D. H. (1985). Dimensions of anxiety disorders. In A. Tuma & J. Maser (Eds.),Anxiety and the anxiety disorders (pp. 479–500). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Beck, A. T., & Emery, G. (1985).Anxiety disorders and phobias: A cognitive perspective. New York: Basic Books.
- Beck, A. T., Ward, C. H., Mendelson, M., Mock, J., & Erbaugh, J. (1961). An inventory for measuring depression.Archives of General Psychiatry, 4 561–571.
- Coyne, J. C., & Gotlib, I. H. (1983). The role of cognition in depression: A critical appraisal.Psychological Bulletin, 94 472–505.
- DiNardo, P. A., O'Brien, G. T., Barlow, D. H., Waddell, M. T., & Blanchard, E. B. (1983). Reliability of DSM-III anxiety disorder categories using a new structured interview.Archives of General Psychiatry, 40 1070–1074.
- Eaves, G., & Rush, A. J. (1984). Cognitive patterns in symptomatic and remitted unipolar major depression.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 93 31–40.
- Endicott, J., & Spitzer, R. L. (1978). A diagnostic interview for affective disorders and schizophrenia.Archives of General Psychiatry, 35 837–844.
- Girodo, M., Dotzenroth, S. E., & Stein, S. J. (1981). Causal attribution bias in shy males: Implications for self-esteem and self-confidence.Cognitive Therapy and Research, 5 325–338.
- Hamilton, E. W., & Abramson, L. Y. (1983). Cognitive patterns and major depressive disorder: A longitudinal study in a hospital setting.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 92 173–184.
- Heimberg, R. G., Vermilyea, J. A., Dodge, C. S., Becker, R. E., & Barlow, D. H. (1987). Attributional style, depression, and anxiety: An evaluation of the specificity of depressive attributions.Cognitive Therapy and Research, 11 537–550.
- Janoff-Bulman, R. (1979). Characterological versus behavioral self-blame: Inquiries into depression and rape.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37 1798–1809.
- Johnson, J. E., Petzel, T. P., & Munic, D. (1986). An examination of the relative contribution of depression versus global psychopathology to depressive attributional style in a clinical population.Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 4 107–113.
- Miller, I. W., III, Klee, S. H., & Norman, W. H. (1982) Depressed and nondepressed inpatients' cognitions of hypothetical events, experimental tasks, and stressful life events.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 91 78–81.
- Peterson, C., Schwartz, S. M., & Seligman, M. E. P. (1981). Self-blame and depressive symptoms.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 41 253–259.
- Peterson, C., Semmel, A., von Baeyer, C., Abramson, L. Y., Metalsky, G. I., & Seligman, M. E. P. (1982). The Attributional Style Questionnaire.Cognitive Therapy and Research, 6 287–299.
- Raps, C. W., Peterson, C., Reinhard, K. E., Abramson, L. Y., & Seligman, M. E. P. (1982). Attributional style among depressed patients.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 91 102–108.
- Sweeney, P. D., Anderson, K., & Bailey, S. (1986). Attributional style in depression: A meta-analytic review.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50 974–991.
- Teglasi, H., & Hoffman, M. A. (1982). Causal attribution in shy subjects.Journal of Research in Personality, 16 376–385.
- Anxiety disorders, depression, and attributional style: A further test of the specificity of depressive attributions
Cognitive Therapy and Research
Volume 13, Issue 1 , pp 21-36
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
- Additional Links
- anxiety disorder
- attributional style
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Center for Stress and Anxiety Disorders, Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Albany, 1535 Western Avenue, 12203, Albany, New York, USA
- 2. Medical College of Pennsylvania at EPPI, USA