Attributional style in clinically depressed and conduct disordered adolescents.
We tested the reformulated learned helplessness theory of depression with adolescent inpatients (N = 63) who were diagnosed by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III; American Psychiatric Association, 1980) criteria as depressed, or conduct disordered, or both. Adolescents with major depression diagnoses differed from nondepressed adolescents with significantly lower attributional style scores for positive events. The study also evaluated the relation of self-reported depression, anxiety, and social maladjustment to attributional style. Subjects who reported more severe depression had a significantly lower composite score for internal, stable, and global attributions for positive events. The composite of internal, stable, and global attributions for negative events was not significantly related to either diagnosed or self-reported depression.
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