Cognitive vulnerability to depression during middle childhood: Stability and associations with maternal affective styles and parental depression
Personality and Individual Differences
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Theories of cognitive vulnerability to depression (CVD) imply that CVD is early-emerging and trait-like; however, little longitudinal work has tested this premise in middle childhood, or examined theoretically relevant predictors of child CVD. We examined test-retest correlations of self-referent encoding task performance and self-reported attributional styles and their associations with parental characteristics in 205 seven-year-olds. At baseline, child CVD was assessed, structured clinical interviews were conducted with parents, and ratings of observed maternal affective styles were made. Children's CVD was re-assessed approximately one and two years later. Both measures of children's CVD were prospectively and concurrently associated with children's depressive symptoms and showed modest stability. Multilevel modeling indicated that maternal criticism and paternal depression were related to children's CVD. Findings indicate that even early-emerging CVD is a valid marker of children's depression risk. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.