Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. David Dozois



This study assessed longitudinally the predictors of relapse/recurrence in major depressive disorder, as well as future depressive symptomatology, by examining how people organize information and beliefs about the self and how this changes over time. A secondary objective was to assess the long-term stability of self-schema structures. A sample of undergraduate students completed a computer-based task assessing schema structure, as well as two measures of schema content at baseline, and three and six-month intervals. Analyses for relapse/recurrence yielded insignificant results. However, as predicted, social cognitive distortions at Time 1 and schema structure for negative interpersonal content at Time 1 predicted depressive symptoms at Time 2. These predictors at Time 2 were not significant when assessing depressive symptoms at Time 3. Additionally, negative structure became less stable over time, whereas positive structure showed the opposite pattern. The implications of these findings are discussed and directions for future research outlined.