Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 85–103 | Cite as

Reciprocal Relations Between Depressive Symptoms and Self-Criticism (but Not Dependency) Among Early Adolescent Girls (but Not Boys)

  • Golan ShaharEmail author
  • Sidney J. Blatt
  • David C. Zuroff
  • Gabriel P. Kuperminc
  • Bonnie J. Leadbeater


Recent criticism of theories of personality vulnerability to depression posits that personality may be an outcome, rather than a cause, of depressive symptoms. In this study, we address this criticism, focusing on the personality dimensions of dependency and self-criticism (S. J. Blatt & D. C. Zuroff, 1992). Dependency, self-criticism, and depressive symptoms were assessed twice over a 1-year interval in a large sample of early adolescent girls and boys. A vulnerability model, in which dependency and self-criticism influence depressive symptoms, was contrasted with a “scar” model, in which depressive symptoms influence dependency and self-criticism, and with a reciprocal causality model, in which both constructs influence each other over time. Cross-lagged analyses using structural equation modeling supported a reciprocal causality model involving self-criticism (but not dependency) among girls (but not boys). Results suggest that in early adolescence, girls' self-criticism and depressive symptoms contribute to a vicious phenomenological cycle.

personality depression vulnerability scar cross-lagged-design 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Golan Shahar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sidney J. Blatt
    • 1
  • David C. Zuroff
    • 2
  • Gabriel P. Kuperminc
    • 3
  • Bonnie J. Leadbeater
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and PsychologyYale UniversityNew Haven
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyGeorgia State UniversityAtlanta
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of VictoriaBritish ColumbiaCanada

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