The relationship between beliefs about symptom etiology and adult responses to depressed children.
AuthorAldridge, Kay Diane
AdvisorArkowitz, Harold S.
Committee ChairArkowitz, Harold S.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractRecent research has demonstrated that depressed people elicit rejection and induce negative mood in those with whom they interact. The present study sought to replicate earlier research which demonstrated these effects in adult-child interactions when the child was depressed. It also was designed to determine how establishing a mental set about the etiology of a particular child's depression would mediate these findings. A total of 80 male and 80 female undergraduates viewed one of three tapes of a child actress interacting with an adult. The roles portrayed were those of a depressed child, a nondepressed but highly stressed child, and a normal nondepressed control child. Subjects who viewed the depressed child were also assigned to three different groups which either received no information about the child's mood and behavior, were told she was depressed due to physical causes, or that she was depressed due to a pattern of negative thinking. Subjects provided an explanation of the depression were also given an informative summary to read about the etiology of the depression. The depressed child was more rejected than the normal and stressed child, but providing a physical explanation of the depression significantly mediated the effect. Subjects did not differ in their expressed desire for further interaction with the normal and depressed child, but did express greater desire to interact when the depression was explained as a physical disorder than when no information was presented. The nondepressed normal child was viewed as significantly higher in general functioning than the child in any other role. Two mood induction findings were significant. Subjects viewing the normal control expressed higher degrees of positive affect than those viewing any other child. Subjects who viewed the depressed child without any further information were significantly more depressed than those in any other condition. Groups did not differ on measures of anxiety and hostility. Subjects did endorse differential intervention suggestions based on the role portrayal. These results are discussed in relation to the interpersonal model of depression and in terms of their implications for clinical practice.