Journal of Clinical Psychology
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This study tested the diathesis-stress component of Beck's (1967) cognitive theory of depression. Initially, participants completed measures assessing cognitive organization of the self-schema and depressive symptoms. One year later, participants completed measures assessing cognitive organization of the self-schema, depressive symptoms, and negative life events. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses, controlling for initial depression, indicated that more tightly interconnected negative content was associated with greater elevations in depressive symptoms following the occurrence of life events. More diffusely interconnected positive content for interpersonal self-referent information also interacted with life events to predict depressive symptoms. Cognitive organization dimensions showed moderate to high stability across the follow-up, suggesting that they may be trait-like vulnerability factors. Implications for the cognitive vulnerability-stress model of depression are discussed.