Negative self-schemas and the onset of depression in women: longitudinal study

Jonathan Evans, Jon Heron, Glyn Lewis, Ricardo Araya, Dieter Wolke
2005 British Journal of Psychiatry  
Beck's cognitive theory of depression has received little empirical support. Aims To test whether those with negative self-schemas were at risk of onset of depression. Method Data were collected by postal questionnaire from 12003 women recruited during early pregnancy; questionnaires included measures of depressive symptoms and negative self-schemas. Regular questionnaires were sent during pregnancy and following childbirth. Results Of 8540 women not depressed when recruited, 8.6% (95% CI
more » ... 2) became depressed 14 weeks later. Those in the highest tertile for negative self-schema score were more likely to become depressed than those in the lowest tertile (odds ratio 3.04, 95% CI 2.48–3.73). The association remained after adjustment for baseline depressive symptoms and previous depression (OR 1.6, 95% CI1.27–2.02) and was of similar magnitude for onset 3 years later. Conclusions Holding a negative self-schema is an independent risk factor for the onset of depression in women. This finding supports a key element of Beck's cognitive theory. Understanding more about how negative self-schemas arise should help inform preventive policies.
doi:10.1192/bjp.186.4.302 pmid:15802686 fatcat:uhkofumpovhcdomxag4ydtf7hi