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J Gerontol. 1987 Jan;42(1):60-4.

Learned helplessness and depression: a test of the reformulated model.

Abstract

The old model of learned helplessness and depression was compared with the reformulated model. Fifty elderly depressed/nondepressed women were exposed to a number guessing task and were given nonveridical feedback as to their success or failure on the task. As predicted by the reformulated model, significant interaction effects were found. Depressed women attributed failure to lack of ability; they attributed success to luck. In contrast, nondepressed women attributed failure to bad luck and success to high ability. In the second part of the study, the reformulated model's hypothesis was tested regarding personal and universal helplessness. Although it only approached significance it was consistent with the hypothesis; depressed women saw themselves as personally helpless when compared with others for failure outcomes; nondepressed women saw themselves as universally helpless (i.e., everyone would fail the task). A revised clinical treatment model was proposed suggesting an interactionist strategy in treating depression.

PMID:
3794198
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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