This study tested Beck’s cognitive model of familial transmission of depression in a group of 187 pairs consisting of one parent and one offspring. The parents and offspring completed the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale, the Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale, and the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire. Beck’s cognitive theory postulated that the offspring’s negative cognitions were important mediators between the parents’ negative cognitions and the offspring’s depressive symptoms. The results of structural equation modeling analyses indicated that the offspring’s dysfunctional attitudes and automatic thoughts were important mediators between the parents’ dysfunctional attitudes and automatic thoughts and the offspring’s depressive symptoms, thus supporting Beck’s cognitive transmission mechanism of depression from parents to offspring. Implications concerning the prevention and treatment of depression were discussed.
- automatic thoughts
- Beck’s cognitive theory
- dysfunctional attitudes
- familial transmission of depression
- structural equation modeling