Catastrophizing: a predictor of depressive symptoms in children

Noel, Valerie (2009) Catastrophizing: a predictor of depressive symptoms in children. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Drawing from the hopelessness theory of depression, the purpose of this study was to determine whether consistently inferring pessimistic consequences (i.e. inferring consequences as being catastrophic - referred to as catastrophizing) is predictive of concurrent depressive symptoms in children. Catastrophizing, depressive symptoms, and anxious symptoms were assessed in a non-clinical sample consisting of 158 third-, fifth-, and seventh-grade children. Inconsistent with expectations, catastrophizing was found to be predictive of depressive symptoms only in younger children and not older children. Younger children did not appear to catastrophize more frequently than older children. As predicted, this study did provide preliminary evidence suggesting that catastrophizing is a stronger predictor of depressive symptoms in children who exhibit elevated levels of both anxious and depressive symptoms than those who do not exhibit this combination of symptoms. Results from the third- and fifth- grade samples provide moderate support for the generalizability of hopelessness theory to childhood depression; however, results from the seventh-grade sample were inconclusive as low internal consistencies of the catastrophizing measures were found in this age group. Future studies might be advised to consider seventh-grade participants as comprising an adolescent sample rather than a child sample, and thus consider using measures developed for adolescents or adults with this age group.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 9083
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 77-86)
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 2009
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Anxiety in children--Diagnosis; Depression in children--Diagnosis; Personality disorders in children

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