Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 227–239 | Cite as

Depression in adults with mild mental retardation: Are cognitive variables involved?

  • Christine Maguth Nezu
  • Arthur M. Nezu
  • Jami L. Rothenberg
  • Lisa DelliCarpini
  • Irma Groag
Article

Abstract

The applicability of models emphasizing the role of cognitive variables in depression originally based on persons with average intellectual abilities was assessed in this study with 107 adults with mild mental retardation. Results indicated that level of depressive symptomatology, as measured by two different self-report measures, was significantly correlated with frequency of automatic negative thoughts, feelings of hopelessness, rates of self-reinforcement, and amount of negative social support. Sixteen members of this original sample, diagnosed as clinically depressed, were then compared to 16 nondepressed controls. A statistical comparison between these two samples supported the previous correlational analyses suggesting the relevance of these findings to clinical depression. These results are discussed in terms of their implications for psychopathology model building specific to adults with mental retardation, as well as the potential utility of cognitive-based therapies for a population previously considered as inappropriate.

Key words

depression mental retardation cognition hopelessness social support 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alloy, L. B. (1988).Cognitive processes in depression. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association (1980).Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  3. Beck, A. T., & Beamesderfer, A. (1974). Assessment of depression: The Depression Inventory. In P. Pichot (Ed.),Psychological measurement in psychopharmacology: Modern problems in pharmacopsychiatry (Vol. 7; pp. 151–169). Basel, Switzerland: Karger.Google Scholar
  4. Beck, A. T., Rush, A. J., Shaw, B. F., & Emergy, G. (1979).Cognitive therapy of depression. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  5. Beck, A. T., Ward, C. H., Mendelsohn, M., Mock, J., & Erbaugh, J. (1961). An inventory for measuring depression.Archives of General Psychiatry, 4, 561–571.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Benson, B. A. (1985). Behavior disorders and mental retardation: Associations with age, sex, and level of functioning in an outpatient sample.Applied Research in Mental Retardation, 6, 79–85.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Benson, B. A., Reiss, S., Smith, D. C., & Laman, D. S. (1985). Psychosocial correlates of depression in mentally retarded adults: II. Poor social skills.American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 89, 657–659.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Billings, A. G., & Moos, R. H. (1982). Coping, stress, and social resources among adults with unipolar depression: An integrative framework and review.Clinical Psychology Review, 2, 213–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Flaherty, J. A., Gaviria, M. F., & Pathak, D. S. (1983). The measurement of social support: The Social Support Network Inventory.Comprehensive Psychiatry, 24, 521–529.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Gotlib, I. H., & Hammen, C. L. (1992).Psychological aspects of depression: Toward a cognitive-interpersonal integration. Chichester, England: Wiley.Google Scholar
  11. Grossman, H. (1983).Manual on terminology and classification in mental retardation. Washington, DC: American Association on Mental Deficiency.Google Scholar
  12. Hamilton, M. (1960). A rating scale for depression.Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 12, 56–62.Google Scholar
  13. Harrell, T. H., & Ryon, N. B. (1983). Cognitive-behavioral assessment of depression: Clinical validation of the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 51, 721–725.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Heiby, E. M. (1983a). Assessment of frequency of self-reinforcement.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 1304–1307.Google Scholar
  15. Heiby, E. M. (1983b). Depression as a function of the interaction of self- and environmentally controlled reinforcement.Behavior Therapy, 14, 430–433.Google Scholar
  16. Helsel, W. J., & Matson, J. L. (1988). The relationship of depression to social skills and intellectual functioning in mentally retarded adults.Journal of Mental Deficiency Research, 32, 411–418.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 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.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hollon, S. D., Kendall, P. C., & Lumry, A. (1986). Specificity of depressotypic cognitions in clinical depression.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95, 52–59.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Iverson, J. C., & Fox, R. A. (1989). Prevalence of psychopathology among mentally retarded adults.Research in Developmental Disabilities, 10, 77–83.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Jacobson, J. W. (1982). Problem behavior and psychiatric impairment within a developmentally disabled population I: Behavior frequency.Applied Research in Mental Retardation, 3, 121–139.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Kazdin, A. E. (1990). Evaluation of the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire: Negative cognitive processes and depression among children.Psychological Assessment, 2, 73–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kazdin, A. E., Matson, J. L., & Senatore, V. (1983). Assessment of depression in mentally retarded adults.American Journal of Psychiatry, 140, 1040–1043.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Kazdin, A. E., Rodgers, A., & Colbus, D. (1986). The Hopelessness Scale for Children: Psychometric characteristics and concurrent validity.Journal of Consulting and clinical Psychology, 54, 241–425.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Kendall, P. C. (1985). Toward a cognitive-behavioral model of child psychopathology and a critique of related interventions.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 13, 357–372.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Laman, D. S., & Reiss, S. (1987). Social skills deficiencies associated with depressed moods of mentally retarded adults.American Journal on Mental Deficiency, 92, 224–229.Google Scholar
  26. Lewinsohn, P. M., Hoberman, H. M., Teri, L., & Hautzinger, M. (1985). An integrative theory of depression. In S. Reiss & R. Bootzin (Eds.),Theoretical issues in behavior therapy (pp. 331–359). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  27. Matson, J. L., & Barrett, R. P. (1982). Affective disorders. In J. L. Matson & R. P. Barrett (Eds.),Psychopathology in the mentally retarded. Orlando, FL: Grune & Stratton.Google Scholar
  28. Merluzzi, T. V., & Boltwood, M. D. (1989). Cognitive assessment. In A. Freeman, K. M. Simon, L. E. Beutler, & H. Arkowitz (Eds.),Comprehensive handbook of cognitive therapy (pp. 249–266). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  29. Nezu, A. M. (1994). Introduction to special section: Mental retardation and mental illness.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62, 4–5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Nezu, A. M., Nezu, C. M., & Perri, M. G. (1989).Problem-solving therapy for depression: theory, research, and clinical guidelines. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  31. Nezu, A. M., Nezu, C. M., Saraydarian, L., Kalmar, K., & Ronan, G. F. (1986). Social problem solving as a moderating variable between negative life stress and depression.Cognitive Therapy and Research, 10, 489–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nezu, C. M., & Nezu, A. M. (1994). Outpatient psychotherapy for adults with mental retardation and concomitant psychopathology: Research and clinical imperatives.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62, 34–42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Nezu, C. M., Nezu, A. M., & Gill-Weiss, M. J. (1992).Psychopathology in persons with mental retardation: Clinical guidelines for assessment and treatment. Champaign, IL: Research Press.Google Scholar
  34. Nihira, K., Foster, R., Shellhaas, M., & Leland, H. (1975).AAMD Adaptive Behavior Scale—Revised. Washington, DC: American Association on Mental Deficiency.Google Scholar
  35. Reiss, S., & Benson, B. AA. (1985). Psychosocial correlates of depression in mentally retarded adults. I: Minimal social support and stigmatization.American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 89, 331–337.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Reynolds, W. M., & Baker, J. A. (1988). Assessment of depression in persons with mental retardation.American Journal of Mental Retardation, 93, 93–103.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Reynolds, W. M., & Miller, K. L. (1985). Depression and learned helplessness in mentally retarded and nonmentally retarded adolescents: An initial investigation.Applied Research in Mental Retardation, 6, 295–306.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Seligman, M. E. P. (1975).Helplessness: On depression, development, and death. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman.Google Scholar
  39. Sovner, R., & Hurley, A. (1983). Do the mentally retarded suffer from affective illness?Psychiatric Aspects of Mental Retardation Reviews, 5, 16–21.Google Scholar
  40. Spitzer, R. L., Endicott, J., & Robins, E. (1978). Research diagnostic criteria: Rationale and reliability.Archives of General Psychiatry, 35, 773–782.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Wechsler, D. (1981).Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale — Revised. San Antonio: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  42. Whitman, T. L. (1990). Self-regulation and mental retardation.American Journal on Mental Retardation, 94, 347–362.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Maguth Nezu
    • 1
  • Arthur M. Nezu
    • 1
  • Jami L. Rothenberg
    • 1
  • Lisa DelliCarpini
    • 1
  • Irma Groag
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Clinical Psychology, MS 626Hahnemann UniversityPhiladelphia

Personalised recommendations