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.
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Shahar, G., Blatt, S.J., Zuroff, D.C. et al. Reciprocal Relations Between Depressive Symptoms and Self-Criticism (but Not Dependency) Among Early Adolescent Girls (but Not Boys). Cognitive Therapy and Research 28, 85–103 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:COTR.0000016932.82038.d0