A Prospective Examination of Attitudes Toward Illness and Depressive Symptoms in Youth with Juvenile Rheumatic Diseases

  • Rachelle R. Ramsey
  • Margaret S. Bonner
  • Jamie L. Ryan
  • Larry L. Mullins
  • John M. Chaney


The goal of the current study was to examine the prospective relation between illness attitudes and depressive symptoms in a sample of youth with juvenile rheumatic diseases (JRDs). Thirty children with JRDs completed the Child Attitude Toward Illness Scale (CATIS) and the Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI) on two occasions, approximately 1 year apart. Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses revealed significant CATIS - CDI associations, highlighting the link between children’s negative illness attitudes and increases in depressive symptoms. Importantly, cross-lagged panel analysis demonstrated the statistical predominance of the CATIS relative to the CDI, indicating that children’s illness attitudes were temporally antecedent to children’s depressive symptoms over the course of a year. Findings provide evidence that children’s negative attitudes toward illness constitute predisposing cognitive vulnerabilities for depressive symptoms, and suggest that interventions aimed at modifying maladaptive illness attitudes may reduce the risk of depressive symptoms in youth with JRDs.


Juvenile rheumatic disease Illness attitudes Depressive symptoms Cross-lagged panel analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachelle R. Ramsey
    • 1
  • Margaret S. Bonner
    • 1
  • Jamie L. Ryan
    • 1
  • Larry L. Mullins
    • 1
  • John M. Chaney
    • 1
  1. 1.Oklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA

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