Stress and Memory Bias Interact to Predict Depression in Multiple Sclerosis

Joe Beeney, Peter A. Arnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This study is an investigation of the moderating effect of cognitive schema on the relationship between stress and depression in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). In the study, the authors employed a performance-based measure of affective memory bias and a self-report measure of everyday stress to assess both direct and interactive effects of cognitive schema and stress on depression in individuals with MS. The specific hypotheses were that high stress would be more highly associated with depression if an individual also demonstrated a bias for negative information, but that a bias for positive information may buffer against the effects of stress on depression. Results supported the hypotheses, demonstrating a significant effect of the interaction and differential effects of stress based on the direction of memory bias. Implications for understanding depression in MS are discussed, as well as dominant theories of adult depression in the general population. The results are also discussed as a potential contradiction to A. T. Beck's (1967, 1976) developmental hypothesis of cognitive schemas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-126
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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