Cognitive measures of adolescent depression: Unique or unitary constructs?

Golda S. Ginsburg, Susan G. Silva, Rachel H. Jacobs, Simon Tonev, Rick H. Hoyle, Julie Newman Kingery, Mark A. Reinecke, John F. Curry, John S. March

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The factor structure of several self-report questionnaires assessing depression-relevant cognitions frequently employed in clinical research was examined in a sample of 390 adolescents (M age=14.54; 216 girls; 74% Caucasian) with current major depressive disorder enrolled in the Treatment of Adolescents with Depression Study. A four-factor solution resulted, accounting for 65% of the total variance. The factors were labeled (a) Cognitive Distortions and Maladaptive Beliefs, (b) Cognitive Avoidance, (c) Positive Outlook, and (d) Solution-Focused Thinking. Internal consistencies for the factor-based composite scores were .83, .85, .84, and .82, respectively. Girls endorsed more negative cognitions than boys on three of the four factors. Maladaptive cognitions were positively related to severity of depression and predicted treatment response. Taken together, findings indicated that there are four distinct domains of cognitions that are present among adolescents with depression that are tapped by several widely used self-report measures of cognitions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-802
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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