Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 23
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Conway, Christopher C. Slavich, George M. and Hammen, Constance 2015. Dysfunctional Attitudes and Affective Responses to Daily Stressors: Separating Cognitive, Genetic, and Clinical Influences on Stress Reactivity. Cognitive Therapy and Research, Vol. 39, Issue. 3, p. 366.

    Zhang, Lin Liu, Shen Li, Yue and Ruan, Lu-Jun 2015. Heterosexual Rejection and Mate Choice: A Sociometer Perspective. Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 6,

    Jiang, Ming Gao, Ding-Guo Huang, Ren DeWall, C. Nathan and Zhou, Xinyue 2014. The devil wears Prada: Advertisements of luxury brands evoke feelings of social exclusion. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 17, Issue. 4, p. 245.

    Slavich, George M. and Toussaint, Loren 2014. Using the Stress and Adversity Inventory as a Teaching Tool Leads to Significant Learning Gains in Two Courses on Stress and Health. Stress and Health, Vol. 30, Issue. 4, p. 343.

    Jarcho, Michael R. Slavich, George M. Tylova-Stein, Hana Wolkowitz, Owen M. and Burke, Heather M. 2013. Dysregulated diurnal cortisol pattern is associated with glucocorticoid resistance in women with major depressive disorder. Biological Psychology, Vol. 93, Issue. 1, p. 150.

    Lakey, Brian and Tanner, Shawna M. 2013. Social Influences in Negative Thinking and Affect. Cognitive Therapy and Research, Vol. 37, Issue. 1, p. 160.

    Willner, Paul Scheel-Krüger, Jørgen and Belzung, Catherine 2013. The neurobiology of depression and antidepressant action. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, Vol. 37, Issue. 10, p. 2331.

    Bogdan, Ryan Pringle, Patricia L. Goetz, Elena L. and Pizzagalli, Diego A. 2012. Perceived Stress, Anhedonia and Illusion of Control: Evidence for Two Mediational Models. Cognitive Therapy and Research, Vol. 36, Issue. 6, p. 827.

    Kas, Martien J.H. Krishnan, Vaishnav Gould, Todd D. Collier, David A. Olivier, Berend Lesch, Klaus-Peter Domenici, Enrico Fuchs, Eberhard Gross, Cornelius and Castrén, Eero 2012. Avances en enfoques multidisciplinarios y en diversas especies para el examen de la neurobiología de los trastornos psiquiátricos. Psiquiatría Biológica, Vol. 19, Issue. 1, p. 9.

    Cole, Jennifer Logan, T.K. and Walker, Robert 2011. Social exclusion, personal control, self-regulation, and stress among substance abuse treatment clients. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Vol. 113, Issue. 1, p. 13.

    Costanzo, Erin S. Sood, Anil K. and Lutgendorf, Susan K. 2011. Biobehavioral Influences on Cancer Progression. Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America, Vol. 31, Issue. 1, p. 109.

    Fuchs, Eberhard and Flügge, Gabriele 2011. The Handbook of Stress.

    Kas, Martien J.H. Krishnan, Vaishnav Gould, Todd D. Collier, David A. Olivier, Berend Lesch, Klaus-Peter Domenici, Enrico Fuchs, Eberhard Gross, Cornelius and Castrén, Eero 2011. Advances in multidisciplinary and cross-species approaches to examine the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders. European Neuropsychopharmacology, Vol. 21, Issue. 7, p. 532.

    Slavich, George M. Monroe, Scott M. and Gotlib, Ian H. 2011. Early parental loss and depression history: Associations with recent life stress in major depressive disorder. Journal of Psychiatric Research, Vol. 45, Issue. 9, p. 1146.

    Backs-Dermott, Barbara J. Dobson, Keith S. and Jones, Shannon L. 2010. An evaluation of an integrated model of relapse in depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, Vol. 124, Issue. 1-2, p. 60.

    Hsu, David T. Langenecker, Scott A. Kennedy, Susan E. Zubieta, Jon-Kar and Heitzeg, Mary M. 2010. fMRI BOLD responses to negative stimuli in the prefrontal cortex are dependent on levels of recent negative life stress in major depressive disorder. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, Vol. 183, Issue. 3, p. 202.

    Keers, Robert Uher, Rudolf Gupta, Bhanu Rietschel, Marcella Schulze, Thomas G. Hauser, Joanna Skibinska, Maria Henigsberg, Neven Kalember, Petra Maier, Wolfgang Zobel, Astrid Mors, Ole Kristensen, Ann S. Kozel, Dejan Giovannini, Caterina Mendlewicz, Julien Kumar, Sudhir McGuffin, Peter Farmer, Anne E. and Aitchison, Katherine J. 2010. Stressful life events, cognitive symptoms of depression and response to antidepressants in GENDEP. Journal of Affective Disorders, Vol. 127, Issue. 1-3, p. 337.

    Lee, Adabel Hankin, Benjamin L. and Mermelstein, Robin J. 2010. Perceived Social Competence, Negative Social Interactions, and Negative Cognitive Style Predict Depressive Symptoms During Adolescence. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, Vol. 39, Issue. 5, p. 603.

    Molendijk, Marc L. Bamelis, Lotte van Emmerik, Arnold A.P. Arntz, Arnoud Haringsma, Rimke and Spinhoven, Philip 2010. Word use of outpatients with a personality disorder and concurrent or previous major depressive disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, Vol. 48, Issue. 1, p. 44.

    Slavich, George M. O’Donovan, Aoife Epel, Elissa S. and Kemeny, Margaret E. 2010. Black sheep get the blues: A psychobiological model of social rejection and depression. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, Vol. 35, Issue. 1, p. 39.


Severe life events predict specific patterns of change in cognitive biases in major depression

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 04 April 2007

Background. A long-standing debate concerns whether dysfunctional cognitive processes and content play a causal role in the etiology of depression or more simply represent correlates of the disorder. There has been insufficient appreciation in this debate of specific predictions afforded by cognitive theory in relation to major life stress and changes in cognition over time. In this paper we present a novel perspective for investigating the etiological relevance of cognitive factors in depression. We hypothesize that individuals who experienced a severe life event prior to the onset of major depression will exhibit greater changes in dysfunctional attitudes over the course of the episode than will individuals without a severe life event.

Method. Fifty-three participants diagnosed with major depression were assessed longitudinally, approximately 1 year apart, with state-of-the-art measures of life stress and dysfunctional attitudes.

Results. Depressed individuals with a severe life event prior to episode onset exhibited greater changes in cognitive biases over time than did depressed individuals without a prior severe event. These results were especially pronounced for individuals who no longer met diagnostic criteria for major depression at the second assessment.

Conclusions. Specific patterns of change in cognitive biases over the course of depression as a function of major life stress support the etiological relevance of cognition in major depression.

Corresponding author
Department of Psychology, 118 Haggar Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA. (Email:
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *