The relationship between automatic thoughts and negative emotions in children and adolescents: A test of the cognitive content-specificity hypothesis

Carolyn A. Schniering*, Ronald M. Rapee

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    79 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The aim of this study was to test the cognitive content-specificity hypothesis in children and adolescents aged 7-16 years. Participants consisted of a community sample of 200 youth and a clinical sample of 160 youth with anxiety, depressive, or disruptive behavior disorders. Participants completed several self-report measures assessing a wide range of negative beliefs and symptoms of internalizing and externalizing problems. Multivariate analyses examining the interrelationships between beliefs and noncognitive symptoms revealed that thoughts on loss or personal failure were the strongest predictors of depressive symptoms, thoughts on social threat were the strongest predictors of anxiety symptoms, and thoughts on hostility or revenge were the strongest predictors of aggression. Results showed clear evidence of cognitive-affective specificity across both internalizing and externalizing problems in youth.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)464-470
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
    Volume113
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004

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