The Mediating Role of Children’s Causal Attributions in the Parent Distress-Child Depressive Symptom Association in Juvenile Rheumatic Diseases

  • Rachelle R. Ramsey
  • Jamie L. Ryan
  • Margaret S. Bonner
  • David A. Fedele
  • Larry L. Mullins
  • James N. Jarvis
  • John M. Chaney


To test whether children’s pessimistic causal attributions mediate the parent distress–child depressive symptom relation in youth diagnosed with juvenile rheumatic diseases (JRDs) and their parents. Fifty-two youth completed the Children’s Attributional Style Questionnaire and the Children’s Depression Inventory; parents completed the Brief Symptom Inventory. Parent distress was significantly related to children’s depressive symptoms. More importantly, children’s pessimistic attributions were shown to fully mediate the observed association between parent distress and children’s depressive symptoms. Results support a parent distress→ child attribution→ child depressive symptom interpretation, suggesting that parent distress engenders children’s depressogenic attributions, which eventuate in an increased vulnerability for depressive symptoms. The implications of our findings for clinical intervention and future research are discussed.


Causal attributions Depression Juvenile rheumatic disease 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachelle R. Ramsey
    • 1
  • Jamie L. Ryan
    • 1
  • Margaret S. Bonner
    • 1
  • David A. Fedele
    • 2
  • Larry L. Mullins
    • 1
  • James N. Jarvis
    • 3
  • John M. Chaney
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  2. 2.Hasbro Children’s Hospital/Rhode Island Hospital, Alpert Medical School, Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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