Emotional Abuse, Verbal Victimization, and the Development of Children’s Negative Inferential Styles and Depressive Symptoms
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Given evidence that negative inferential styles contribute vulnerability to both symptoms and diagnoses of depression, it becomes important to examine factors that may contribute to the development of this cognitive vulnerability. The primary goal of the current studies was to test the hypotheses that experiences of emotional abuse from parents and verbal victimization from peers would contribute to negative changes in children’s inferential styles as well as increases in their depressive symptoms. We found support for these hypotheses among children of parents with a history of depression (Study 1) and among an unselected community sample of children (Study 2). These results add to the growing body of research suggesting the role of emotional abuse and verbal victimization in the development of depressive cognitions and symptoms.
KeywordsEmotional abuse Maltreatment Attributions Depression
This project was supported in part by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development grant HD048664 awarded to B. E. Gibb and a NARSAD Young Investigator Award to J. R. Z. Abela.
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