The Relationship Between Automatic Thoughts and Irrational Beliefs Predicting Anxiety and Depression
- 1.7k Downloads
Cognitive behavioral approaches differ in their views on core cognitions and their hypothesized role in the etiology of depression and anxiety. The present study provides empirical evidence regarding the relationship between irrational beliefs and components of automatic thoughts and their role in the etiology of depression and anxiety. The present study utilized newer and improved questionnaires to assess components of irrational belief. Based on prior research by Safren et al. (Cogn Ther Res 24(3):327–344, 2000), a three-factor structure of the combined automatic thought questionnaires were utilized to measure components of automatic thoughts as they relate to depression and anxiety. Factor analytical methods were utilized to confirm the factor structure of the irrational beliefs and automatic thoughts components. Advanced path modeling was utilized to model the relationship between irrational beliefs and automatic thoughts in predicting anxiety and depression. The study used a sample of N = 542 undergraduate psychology students during stressful exam times. Results indicated that the irrational belief Demandingness represents a primary factor, followed by the secondary irrational beliefs as proposed by Rational Emotive Behavioral Theory. Selfdowning beliefs were fully mediated by depressive automatic thoughts in the case of depressive affect. Low frustration tolerance contributed unique variance to anxious and depressive affect that was not fully mediated by automatic thoughts. Results from the present study add empirical evidence that irrational beliefs indeed represent core and intermediary beliefs that lead to specific automatic thoughts, which is congruent with cognitive behavioral theory as proposed by Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy.
KeywordsCBT REBT Irrational beliefs Automatic thoughts Depression Integrative
- Beck, A. T. (1979). Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. New York: Plume.Google Scholar
- Beck, A., Emery, P. D. G., & Greenberg, R. (2005). Anxiety disorders and phobias: A cognitive perspective (15th ed.). Cambridge, MA: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Byrne, B. M. (2010). Factor analysis. In The Corsini encyclopedia of psychology. Wiley. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0344/abstract.
- Clark, D. A., & Beck, A. T. (2011). Cognitive therapy of anxiety disorders: Science and practice (1st ed.). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Clark, D. A., Beck, A. T., & Alford, B. A. (1999). Scientific foundations of cognitive theory and therapy of depression (1st ed.). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- David, D. (2014.). The empirical status of rational emotive behavior theory and therapy. Retrieved from http://albertellis.org/the-empirical-status-of-rational-emotive-behavior-theory-and-therapy/.
- David, A., Ghinea, C., Macavei, B., & Kallay, E. (2005a). A search for “hot” cognitions in a clinical and a non-clinical context: Appraisal, attributions, core relational themes, irrational beliefs, and their relations to emotion. Journal of Cognitive & Behavioral Psychotherapies, 5(1), 1–42.Google Scholar
- DiGiuseppe, R. A., Doyle, K. A., Dryden, W., & Backx, W. (2014). A Practitioner’s guide to rational-emotive behavior therapy (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Ellis, A. (1994). Reason and emotion in psychotherapy (Rev Sub ed.). Secaucus, NJ: Citadel.Google Scholar
- Gaskin, J. (2016). “Structural Equation Modeling”, Gaskination’s StatWiki. Retrieved from http://statwiki.kolobkreations.com.
- Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: Methodology in the social sciences (1st ed.). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Hyland, P., Shevlin, M., Adamson, G., & Boduszek, D. (2014). The organization of irrational beliefs in posttraumatic stress symptomology: Testing the predictions of REBT theory using structural equation modelling: Irrational beliefs in posttraumatic stress symptomology. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 70(1), 48–59.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kline, R. B. (2011). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (3rd ed.). New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Lovibond, S. H., & Lovibond, P. F. (1995). Manual for the depression anxiety stress scales (2nd ed.). Sydney: Psychology Foundation.Google Scholar
- Safren, S. A., Heimberg, R. G., Lerner, J., Henin, A., Warman, M., & Kendall, P. C. (2000). Differentiating anxious and depressive self-statements: Combined factor structure of the anxious self-statements questionnaire and the automatic thoughts questionnaire-revised. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 24(3), 327–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sava, F. A. (2009). Maladaptive schemas, irrational beliefs, and their relationship with the five-factor personality model. Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapiesr, 9(2), 135–147.Google Scholar
- Soper, D. S. (2014). A priori sample size calculator for student t-tests. Retrieved from http:http://www.danielsoper.com/statcalc.
- Spielberger, C. D. (1989). State-trait anxiety inventory: Bibliography (2nd ed.). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
- Szentagotai, A., & Freeman, A. (2007). An analysis of the relationship between irrational beliefs and automatic thoughts in predicting distress. Journal of Cognitive & Behavioral Psychotherapies, 7(1), 1–9.Google Scholar
- Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2006). Using multivariate statistics (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.Google Scholar