Cognitive coping response to crises and onset of depression

  • A. Bifulco
  • G. W. Brown
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/BF00785763

Cite this article as:
Bifulco, A. & Brown, G.W. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (1996) 31: 163. doi:10.1007/BF00785763

Abstract

This paper considers the relationship between cognitive coping responses to severe life events and related difficulties and the risk of onset of case depression in a sample of 150 mothers living in Islington, North London. A period between a first interview and a followup interview 12 months later was covered, and any onset in the follow-up period examined. Three types of ‘negative’ cognitive response to a severe life event/difficulty complex were related to an increased risk of depression. These were inferred denial, self-blame and pessimism. One ‘positive’ cognitive factor, that of downplaying, was inversely related to onset. A negative cognitive response to crises was found to be associated with the most serious of the events, defined by their match with an ongoing marked difficulty. However, both matching severe events and a negative cognitive response were required to model onset of depression. Negative cognitive coping responses were also related to type of event: all were related to crises involving partners. In addition, self-blame was associated with crises involving children's behaviour, and there was some evidence that denial was related to pregnancy/birth crises, and pessimism, to health/death crises. A negative cognitive response was also associated with other risk factors such as prior vulnerability and failure to receive support in the crisis. However, when these were taken into account a negative response to a crisis was still required in modelling onset of depression. Issues of possible bias are addressed.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Bifulco
    • 1
  • G. W. Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social Policy and Social Science Royal Holloway CollegeUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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