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The role of perfectionism, cognitive styles, attitudes and daily stressors in predicting mood in university students

Brownlie, Julie (2011) The role of perfectionism, cognitive styles, attitudes and daily stressors in predicting mood in university students. Northumbria University.

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Abstract

The current study investigated the extent to which depression can be predicted by Beck’s theory, the hopelessness theory and the perfectionism model of depression, using a correlational design. Self report measures of cognitive styles, dysfunctional attitudes, perfectionism, stress and depression were completed by 30 university students, which were analysed using a series of multiple regressions. The results revealed perfectionism was not significantly correlated with depression. Both negative cognitive styles and dysfunctional attitudes were found to predict high depression scores, however neither appeared to be a more accurate predictor than the other. It was found that both stress and dysfunctional attitudes contributed significantly to the prediction of high depression scores. However, when combining cognitive styles and stress, only negative cognitive styles made a significant contribution to the prediction of high depression scores. Therefore, the results do not provide support for the perfectionism model of depression. The findings however, do support the cognitive vulnerability proposed by both the hopelessness theory and Beck’s theory, although were only found to support the diathesis-stress component of Beck’s theory of depression. Implications for the treatment of depression and future directions are also discussed.

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