Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 37, Issue 6, pp 845–855 | Cite as

A Test of a Cognitive Diathesis—Stress Generation Pathway in Early Adolescent Depression

  • Amy Kercher
  • Ronald M. Rapee


This study evaluates a pathway for depressive risk that integrates cognitive diathesis-stress and stress-generation theories, following Hankin and Abramson’s (2001, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 31(4), 491-504) elaborated cognitive-diathesis transactional stress model. In this model, young adolescents with initial depressive symptoms were hypothesised to experience later stressors that were at least partly dependent on their behaviour. The interaction of cognitive vulnerability, a tendency to make depressogenic attributions and to ruminate, with these dependent stressors was then hypothesised to predict depressive symptoms after 6 months. This model was supported in a sample of 756 young adolescents, with cognitive style and dependent stressors partly mediating the relationship between initial and subsequent depressive symptoms. Cognitive vulnerability was also linked with an increased likelihood of dependent stressors.


Depression Adolescence Development Stress-generation Cognitive diathesis-stress 



This research was partly supported by a research fellowship from the NSW Institute of Psychiatry. We would like to acknowledge the cooperation of the NSW Department of Education and Training, the Catholic Education Office (Diocese of Parramatta) and of the schools, parents and students who participated. We greatly appreciated the statistical advice of Dr Alan Taylor.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Emotional HealthMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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