Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Program

Psychology

Supervisor(s)

Dr. J. Bruce Morton

Abstract

A multi-trait multi-method study was conducted exploring associations between individual differences in child temperament and cognitive vulnerability for depression and anxiety. Two-hundred and five 7-year-old children and their parents participated. Low positive emotionality and high negative emotionality predicted a depressogenic attributional style as well as attentional biases for positive and sad stimuli. Individual differences in child fearfulness were also associated with attentional biases to threat-related information. Associations between child cognitive vulnerability and parental history of depression and anxiety were also explored, as well as associations between child internalizing symptoms and (1) child temperament and (2) cognitive vulnerability. Paternal, but not maternal depression, was associated with child cognitive vulnerability for depression. Child current symptoms of depression and anxiety were related to both individual differences in child temperament and markers of cognitive vulnerability for depression and anxiety.


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