Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 33–45 | Cite as

A Cognitive-Interpersonal Approach to Depressive Symptoms in Preadolescent Children

  • Karen D. Rudolph
  • Constance Hammen
  • Dorli Burge


Cognitive and interpersonal aspects of depressive symptoms were investigated in a community sample of children. Eighty-one 8- to 12-year-olds completed scales assessing cognitive representations of social relationships and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Teachers provided ratings of peer rejection. Children with elevated levels of depressive symptoms displayed increased negativity in their beliefs about self, family, and peers, as well as distinct patterns of interpersonal information processing. Anxiety symptoms did not make a unique contribution beyond depression to negative representations of family and peers; in contrast, symptom-specific profiles of self-representations were found. Structural equation analysis supported a model linking negative interpersonal representations, peer rejection, and depressive symptoms. The findings suggest that future studies may benefit from approaches that incorporate both cognitive and interpersonal variables as predictors of child depression.

Depression children interpersonal cognitions 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen D. Rudolph
    • 1
  • Constance Hammen
    • 2
  • Dorli Burge
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of IllinoisChampaign
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos Angeles

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