Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 79–89

Predicting response to cognitive therapy of depression: The role of learned resourcefulness

  • Anne D. Simons
  • Patrick J. Lustman
  • Richard D. Wetzel
  • George E. Murphy


Thirty-five moderately depressed outpatients were randomly assigned to 12 weeks of cognitive therapy (N = 19), or nortriptyline (N = 16). The patients were assessed on a number of measures before the initiation of treatment to explore the potential of pretreatment variables for predicting treatment response. Both groups of patients showed significant improvement by termination. Improvement did not differ as a function of the type of treatment received. However, an interaction between initial levels of learned resourcefulness, as measured by Rosenbaum's (1980a) Self Control Schedule (SCS), and type of treatment was found. Specifically, patients entering cognitive therapy with relatively high SCS scores did better than patients with low SCS scores. Patients in the pharmacotherapy group showed the opposite pattern: Patients with initially low scores on the SCS did better with medication than did the high scorers.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Beck, T. A., Ward, C. H., Mendelson, M., Mock, J. E., & Erbaugh, J. K. (1961). An inventory for measuring depression.Archives of General Psychiatry, 5 561–571.Google Scholar
  2. Beck, T. A., Weissman, A., Lester, D., & Trexler, L. (1974). The measurement of pessimism: The Hopelessness Scale.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 47 861–865.Google Scholar
  3. Bishop, S., Blackburn, I. M., & McGuire, R. J. (1981).Prediction of response to cognitive therapy and pharmacotherapy in depression. Paper presented at the 1st European Meeting on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Lisbon.Google Scholar
  4. Blackburn, I. M., Bishop, S., Glenn, M. I., Whalley, L. J., & Christie, J. E. (1981). The efficacy of cognitive therapy in depression: A treatment trial using cognitive therapy and pharmacotherapy, each alone and in combination.British Journal of Psychiatry, 139 181–189.Google Scholar
  5. Feighner, J. P., Robins, E., Guze, S. B., Woodruff, R. A., Winokur, G., & Munoz, R. (1972). Diagnostic criteria for use in psychiatric research.Archives of General Psychiatry, 26 57–63.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Frank, J. D. (1971). Therapeutic factors in psychotherapy.American Journal of Psychotherapy, 25 350–361.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Garfield, S. L. (1973). Basic ingredients or common factors in psychotherapy.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 41 9–12.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Hamilton, M. (1969). A rating scale for depression.Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 23 56–61.Google Scholar
  9. Hollon, S. D., & Kendall, P. C. (1980). Cognitive self statements in depression: Development of an automatic thoughts questionnaire.Cognitive Therapy and Research, 4 383–395.Google Scholar
  10. Kovacs, M., & Beck, A. T. (1978). Maladaptive cognitive structures in depression.Archives of General Psychiatry, 135 525–533.Google Scholar
  11. Murphy, G. E., Simons, A. D., Wetzel, R. D., & Lustman, P. J. (1984). Cognitive therapy and pharmacotherapy, singly and together, in the treatment of depression.Archives of General Psychiatry, 41 33–41.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Rosenbaum, M. (1980a). A schedule for assessing self control behaviors: Preliminary findings.Behavior Therapy, 11 109–121.Google Scholar
  13. Rosenbaum, M. (1980b). Individual differences in self-control behaviors and tolerance of painful stimulation.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 89 581–590.Google Scholar
  14. Rosenbaum, M. (1983). Learned resourcefulness as a behavioral repertoire for the self regulation of internal events: Issues and speculations. In M. Rosenbaum, C. M. Frank, & Y. Jaffe (Eds.),Perspectives on behavior therapy in the eighties. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  15. Rosenbaum, M., & Jaffe, Y. (1983). Learned helplessness: The role of individual differences in learned resourcefulness.British Journal of Social Psychology, 22 215–225.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Rosenbaum, M., & Rolnick, S. (1983). Self-control behaviors and coping with seasickness.Cognitive Therapy and Research, 7 93–98.Google Scholar
  17. Rush, A. J., Beck, A. T., Kovacs, M., & Hollon, S. (1977). Comparative efficacy of cognitive therapy and pharmacotherapy in the treatment of depressed outpatients.Cognitive Therapy and Research, 1 17–37.Google Scholar
  18. Rush, A. J., Hollon, S. D., Beck, A. T., Kovacs, M. (1978). Depression: Must pharmacotherapy fail for cognitive therapy to succeed?Cognitive Therapy and Research, 2 199–206.Google Scholar
  19. Shaw, B. (1977). Comparison of cognitive therapy and behavior therapy in the treatment of depression.Journal of Consulting and Clinical psychology, 45 543–551.Google Scholar
  20. Shaw, B. F. (1982, June).Cognitive variables in the prediction of treatment response in depression. Paper presented at a meeting of the Socity of Psychotherapy Research, Jeffersonville, Vermont.Google Scholar
  21. Smith, T. V. G. (1979).Cognitive correlates of response to a behavioral weight control program. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada.Google Scholar
  22. Steinmetz, J. L., Lewinsohn, P. M., and Antonuccio, D. O. (1983). Prediction of individual outcome in a group intervention for depression.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 51 331–332.Google Scholar
  23. Taylor, F., & Marshall, W. (1977). Experimental analysis of a cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression.Cognitive Therapy and Research, 1 59–72.Google Scholar
  24. Watkins, J. T., & Rush, A. J. (1983). Cognitive response test.Cognitive Therapy and Research, 7 425–436.Google Scholar
  25. Weissman, A., Beck, A. T. (1978).The Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale. Paper presented at the meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy, Chicago.Google Scholar
  26. Zeiss, A., Lewinsohn, P., & Munoz, R. (1979). Nonspecific improvement effects in depression using interpersonal skills training, pleasant activities schedules or cognitive training.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 47 427–439.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne D. Simons
    • 1
  • Patrick J. Lustman
    • 1
  • Richard D. Wetzel
    • 1
  • George E. Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA

Personalised recommendations