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date: 15 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Maladaptive cognitive styles, including dysfunctional attitudes about our self-worth, the tendency to make negative inferences about the causes and consequences of negative events, and the tendency to ruminate about our sad mood, have been hypothesized to provide vulnerability to depression when individuals experience stressful life events. This chapter presents an overview of the three main cognitive vulnerability theories of depression, Beck’s Cognitive Theory, the Hopelessness Theory, and Response Styles Theory, which feature these three proposed cognitive vulnerabilities, respectively. The chapter describes each of these cognitive vulnerabilities, their measurement, and the types of research designs that have been employed to test the cognitive vulnerability theories. It also reviews the empirical evidence for each of these three forms of cognitive vulnerability to depression. Finally, the chapter highlights directions for further research.

Keywords: cognitive vulnerability, dysfunctional attitudes, negative inferential style, rumination, stress, depression

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