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J Clin Psychol. 2009 Dec;65(12):1327-38. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20625.

Developmental origins of cognitive vulnerabilities to depression: review of processes contributing to stability and change across time.

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Department of Psychology, University of Denver, Denver, CO 80208, USA.


Cognitive theories of depression have been shown to be potent predictors of future increases in depressive symptoms and disorder in children, adolescents, and adults. This article focuses on potential developmental origins of the main cognitive vulnerabilities, including dysfunctional attitudes, negative cognitive style, and rumination. We selectively review processes and factors that have been hypothesized to contribute to the emergence and stabilization of these cognitive risk factors. This review focuses on genetic factors, temperament, parents and peers as salient interpersonal influences, and stressful life events. We end with suggestions for future theory development and research. In particular, we emphasize the need for additional conceptual and empirical work integrating these disparate processes together into a coherent, developmental psychopathological model, and we highlight the coexistence of both stability and change in the development of cognitive vulnerabilities to depression across the lifespan.

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