, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 363-376

Mood Matters: Negative Mood Induction Activates Dysfunctional Attitudes in Women Vulnerable to Depression

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Abstract

Cognitive theory holds that dysfunctionalattitudes are important risk factors for depression.Critics have questioned this view, noting that, althoughdysfunctional attitudes are elevated in depression, they are not evident in vulnerable individualswho are asymptomatic. To deal with this criticism,Miranda and Persons (1988) have advanced the mood-statedependent hypothesis, which suggests that cognitive vulnerability factors are indeed present invulnerable individuals, but remain dormant untilactivated by negative mood. To test this hypothesis, 33women with and 67 women without histories of depression reported dysfunctional attitudes before andafter a film negative mood induction. As predicted,vulnerable subjects who reported increased negative moodreported increased dysfunctional attitudes.Unexpectedly, nonvulnerable subjects who reported increasednegative mood reported decreased dysfunctionalattitudes. These findings support the mood-statedependent hypothesis, and suggest that a deficit in theability to regulate negative emotions may be animportant feature of vulnerability todepression.