Stress, Negative Cognitive Style, and Coping as Predictors of Depressive Symptoms in Children of Depressed Parents
Potts, Jennifer Elizabeth
Stress, negative cognitive style, and coping were studied as predictors of depressive symptoms in children and adolescents at risk for depression. This study examined 166 children and adolescents (ages 9 to 15) of depressed parents to understand how these characteristics are related to one another and how they predict depressive symptoms measured by parent and child report on questionnaires and diagnostic interviews. Stress was positively related to negative cognitive style and depressive symptoms. Negative cognitive style was negatively related to secondary control coping and positively related to disengagement coping. Stress, negative cognitive style, and secondary control coping were all independent and significant predictors of depressive symptoms. However, disengagement coping was not a significant predictor for depressive symptoms on the questionnaires, and its relation to depressive symptoms measured by the interviews may represent a suppressor effect. Findings are discussed in addition to limitations of the current study and implications for future research.