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J Abnorm Psychol. 2007 Feb;116(1):135-43.

Biased processing of emotional information in girls at risk for depression.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Researchers have documented that children of depressed mothers are at elevated risk for developing a depressive disorder themselves. There is currently little understanding, however, of what factors place these children at elevated risk. In the present study, the authors investigated whether never-disordered daughters whose mothers have experienced recurrent episodes of depression during their daughters' lifetime are characterized by biased processing of emotional information. Following a negative mood induction, participants completed an emotional-faces dot-probe task. Daughters at elevated risk for depression, but not control daughters of never-disordered mothers, selectively attended to negative facial expressions. In contrast, only control daughters selectively attended to positive facial expressions. These results provide support for cognitive vulnerability models of depression.

(c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved.

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