ERIC Number: ED240469
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Relationship of Self-Esteem to Depressive Cognition.
Butler, Robert A.; Whipple, James
Both cognitive and learned helplessness models of depression stress the importance of low self-esteem in the etiology of depression and depressive symptomatology. To investigate the correlations and causal relationship of low self-esteem to depressive cognition, equal groups of low, medium, and high self-esteem college students (N=135; 89 female, 46 male) as determined by the revised Janis-Field Feelings of Inadequacy Scale, participated in an experimental self-esteem manipulation in which subjects were given either positive, average, or negative self-esteem feedback on their performance on a bogus social skills test. Subjects completed a battery of measures assessing depressive cognition, self-esteem, and depression level before and after the self-esteem manipulation. An analysis of the results showed that low self-esteem was associated with more depressed-distorted cognition, more depressed, automatic thoughts, and greater depressive afffect than was medium or high self-esteem. Tests to determine whether or not low self-esteem was causally related to the development or generality of such cognitions were nonsignificant. The findings only partially support the rationale for therapeutic practices based on a psuedo-causal sequence in which mental activity automatically results in changes of mood or behavior. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983).