Integrating Beck's cognitive model and the response style theory in an adolescent sample

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Depression becomes more prevalent as individuals progress from childhood to adulthood. Thus, empirically supported and popular cognitive vulnerability theories to explain depression in adulthood have begun to be tested in younger age groups, particularly adolescence, a time of significant cognitive development. Beck's cognitive theory and the response style theory are well known, empirically supported theories of depression. The current, two-wave longitudinal study (N = 462; mean age = 16.01 years; SD = 0.69; 63.9% female) tested various proposed integrative models of Beck's cognitive theory and the response style theory, as well as the original theories themselves, to determine if and how these cognitive vulnerabilities begin to intertwine in adolescence. Of the integrative models tested-all with structural equation modeling in AMOS 21-the best-fitting integrative model was a moderation model wherein schemata influenced rumination, and rumination then influenced other cognitive variables in Beck's model. Findings revealed that this integrated model fit the data better than the response style theory and explained 1.2% more variance in depressive symptoms. Additionally, multigroup analyses comparing the fit of the best-fitting integrated model across adolescents with clinical and subclinical depressive symptoms revealed that the model was not stable between these two subsamples. However, of the hypotheses relevant to the integrative model, only 1 of the 18 associations was significantly different between the clinical and subclinical samples. Regardless, the integrated model was not superior to the more parsimonious model from Beck's cognitive theory. Implications and limitations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-210
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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