Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 721–735 | Cite as

Relation Between Attributional Style and Subsequent Depressive Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Longitudinal Studies

Original Article


This meta-analysis examined the relation between attributional style and subsequent depressive symptoms. Results were based on 52 longitudinal studies comprising 57 samples involving 12,594 participants. A moderate correlation was found between depressogenic explanatory style of negative events and subsequent depressive symptoms. Controlling for prior depressive symptoms, the weighted mean effect of prior negative attributional style on subsequent depressive symptoms was small at β = .10. The relation between attributional style and subsequent depressive symptoms was not associated with moderators including publication status, attributional style measure, depression measure, delay between assessments, mean age, participant gender, and ethnicity.


Attributional style Depressive symptoms Longitudinal Meta-analysis 


Conflict of Interest

Chiungjung Huang declares no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (national and institutional). Informed consent was obtained from all individual subjects participating in the study.

Human and Animal Rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors and no animals have been used.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate Institute of EducationNational Changhua University of EducationChanghuaTaiwan

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