ERIC Number: ED250586
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Quality of Affectional Bonding, Learned Helplessness, and Clinical Depression.
Kessler, Ronald P.
John Bowlby's theory of affectional bonding and the reformulated learned helplessness theory of depression were integrated into a multivariate model in order to expand the breadth of current attributional theories of depression. This retrospective study focused upon the quality of parent-child relations, the types of discipline parents employed, and the quality of peer affectional systems in relation to attributional style and depression. The sample consisted of 132 undergraduate students who completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Attributional Style Questionnaire (ASQ), and the Attachment History Questionnaire (AHQ). The results indicated that attachment history antecedents were better predictors of depression than attributional style alone. Depressed students reported significant differences in the quality of their relationships with parents and also in the types of discipline and punishment they received. The attachment patterns of depressed students were more conflictual and unstable than nondepressives. The depressed group reported consistent use of threats and punishment as a means of parental discipline. The nondepressed students experienced the more "socially appropriate" types of discipline such as spanking, restrictions, and loss of privileges. Contrary to expectations there were no group differences in the overall availability or quality of peer support networks. The results partially supported the learned helplessness theory in as much as depressed students did form global attributions for bad outcomes but did not demonstrate the"depressive attributional style" as the theory predicts. Depressed students formed external, unstable, and specific attributions for good outcomes, however. (Author)
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 (92nd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 24-28, 1984).