Disentangling the Prospective Relations between Cognitive Style and Depressive Symptoms
To disentangle the relations between maladaptive cognitive style and depression, we tested simultaneously two different models of this relation: cognitive style predicting later depressive symptoms and depressive symptoms predicting later maladaptive cognitive style. The use of a prospective cohort-longitudinal design with a sample of children and adolescents spanning from grades 2 through 9 allowed us a unique opportunity to examine the inter-relations of these constructs while they were still in development. Further, we tested these hypotheses with a bivariate application of a trait-state-occasion model. The use of this model allowed us to separate the time-invariant aspects of depressive symptoms and cognition from the time-varying components, thus providing a better view of the prospective relations. We found strong evidence for the prediction of maladaptive cognitive style by prior depressive symptoms. We found no evidence to support the prediction of depressive symptoms by prior cognitive style. These findings have implications for improving the effectiveness of early intervention and prevention efforts.