Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 297–314 | Cite as

Family interaction patterns and childhood depression

  • David A. Cole
  • Lynn P. Rehm


Rehm's (1977) self-control model for depression and Bandura's (1977) concept that children internalize external controls placed upon them are united to predict family interaction patterns that may contribute to the etiology or maintenance of depression in children. Families of depressed, nondepressed, and nonclinic children were compared on rates of, and criteria for, parental and self-reinforcement. Mother-father-child interactions were sequentially coded to reveal that mothers of depressed and nonclinic children both set very high criteria for rewarding their children, compared to mothers of clinic/nondepressed children. However, mothers of depressed children rewarded their depressed children at much lower rates than mothers of either clinic/nondepressed or nonclinic children. These factors, taken together, are discussed in terms of their possible etiological role in childhood depression.


Interaction Pattern External Control Family Interaction Etiological Role Childhood Depression 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Cole
    • 1
  • Lynn P. Rehm
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Notre DameUSA
  2. 2.University of HoustonUSA

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