, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 345-358

Hopelessness Depression in Depressed Inpatient Adolescents

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Abstract

The hopelessness theory of depression hypothesizes the existence of a hopelessness subtype of depression, characterized by its specific cause, symptoms, course, therapy, and prevention. Data from depressed inpatient adolescents (N = 160) were used to evaluate (a) the relation between hopelessness and the hypothesized symptoms of hopelessness depression; and (b) the latent structure of the relation between hopelessness and the symptoms of hopelessness depression, to test for a hopelessness depression taxon (i.e., subtype). Results suggest that hopelessness was related to the hypothesized symptoms of hopelessness depression, treated singly and in combination. However, results from the application of Meehl and Yonce's (1994) MAMBAC taxometric analytic procedure, using hopelessness and the symptoms of hopelessness depression as taxonic indicators, did not support the existence of a hopelessness depression latent taxon. These results suggest that hopelessness depression may best be conceptualized as a dimension or continuum versus a category or subtype.