E-ISSN : 2733-4538
The present study attempted to examine attributional style of depressed children. 108 elementary school children in the 5th and 6the grades were selected as subjects. On the basis of their PNID (Peer Nomnation Inventory of Depression) and CDI (Children's Depression Inventory) scores, 56 as depressed group and 56 as nondepressed group. Half of each of the two groups (depressed and nondepressed) were randomly assigned to either success or failure feedback condition. Following completion of a task modified from the picture arrangement subtest of KEDI-WISC, subjects filled out attribution style questionnaire designed to evaluate internal-external, stable-unstable and global-specific dimension of their attribution of the outcome. The results were as follows. Depressed children tended to make internal (ability, effort) attributions for a failure outcome and external (task difficulty, luck) attributions for a success outcome. In contrast, nondepressed children made internal (ability, effort) attributions for a success outcome and external (task difficulty, luck) attributions for a failure outcome, indicating a self-serving bias. Following failure the depressed children tended to make stable attribution, while nondepressed children tended to make unstable attribution. There was no group difference following a success. There was no significant difference between the groups on the gobality dimension. The results suggest that depressed children show not only depressive behaviors but also a cognitive bias similar to what has been reported in studies of depredded adults, indicating relevance of learned helplessness theory in understanding childhood depression. Futher research in cognitive characteristics of depressed children will be necessary to understand their significance in symptom formation as well as to devise effective intervention strategies for childhood depression.