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J Nurs Scholarsh. 2004;36(4):337-44.

Negative thinking and the mental health of low-income single mothers.

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College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, 760 Rose Street, Lexington, KY 40536-0232, USA.



To test a conceptual model of predictors of depressive symptoms in low-income single mothers with children from 2 to 6 years of age.


Data were collected from September 2000 to October 2002 as part of the baseline data collection for a larger study in the eastern part of the United States. A volunteer sample of 205 women who were at risk for depression was recruited.


Each woman completed a survey that included the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the Crandall Cognitions Inventory, and the Everyday Stressors Index.


More than 75% of the participants scored at least in the mild depressive range on the Beck Depression Inventory or in the high depressive range on the CES-D. Negative thinking mediated the relationship between self-esteem and depressive symptoms and partially mediated the relationship between chronic stressors and depressive symptoms.


These findings are consistent with earlier research by this team. Negative thinking is an important factor in the development of depressive symptoms in at-risk women. As a symptom, negative thinking might be more amenable to nursing intervention than to interventions focused on reducing chronic stress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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