Childhood Depression, Interpersonal Problem-Solving, and Self-Ratings of Performance

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This study investigated the application of interpersonal and cognitive theories of adult depression to childhood depression. The Childhood Depression Inventory was administered to elementary school children, aged nine to eleven. Those scoring in the upper and lower third of the sample were designated as depressed (n = 20) and nondepressed (n = 20). Within two days, a measure of interpersonal problem‐solving ability, three questionnaire items assessing self‐ratings of interpersonal problem‐solving performance, and the vocabulary subtest of the WISC‐R were administered to the depressed and nondepressed subjects. Consistent with interpersonal and cognitive theories, depressed children showed poorer primary means‐ends problem‐solving performance and lower self‐ratings on items assessing social‐comparison and self‐satisfaction with interpersonal problem‐solving performance. Depressed children also scored significantly lower on the vocabulary subtest. These findings are discussed in terms of their similarity to the responses of depressed adult subjects and their implications for further research examining childhood depression.

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Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, v. 13, issue 1, p. 10-15