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Emotion. 2005 Sep;5(3):343-8.

Negative cognitive styles, dysfunctional attitudes, and the remitted depression paradigm: a search for the elusive cognitive vulnerability to depression factor among remitted depressives.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.


Results from studies using a behavioral high-risk design and approximations to it generally have corroborated the cognitive vulnerability hypothesis of depression, whereas results from remitted depression studies typically have not. Suspecting that design features of previously conducted remitted designs likely precluded them from detecting maladaptive cognitive patterns, the authors conducted a study featuring the remitted design that has been successful in studies of a biological vulnerability for depression. Participants' current depressive symptoms, negative cognitive styles (hopelessness theory), dysfunctional attitudes (Beck's theory), and lifetime prevalence of clinically significant depression were assessed. Participants who had remitted from an episode of clinically significant depression had more negative cognitive styles, but not greater levels of dysfunctional attitudes, than did never depressed individuals.

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