Cognitive and interpersonal aspects of depressive symptoms were investigated in a community sample of children. Eighty-one 8- to 12-year- olds completed scales assessing cognitive representations of social relationships and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Teachers provided ratings of peer rejection. Children with elevated levels of depressive symptoms displayed increased negativity in their beliefs about self, family, and peers, as well as distinct patterns of interpersonal information processing. Anxiety symptoms did not make a unique contribution beyond depression to negative representations of family and peers; in contrast, symptom-specific profiles of self-representations were found. Structural equation analysis supported a model linking negative interpersonal representations, peer rejection, and depressive symptoms. The findings suggest that future studies may benefit from approaches that incorporate both cognitive and interpersonal variables as predictors of child depression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health