Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Psychology

First Advisor

Benjamin L. Hankin, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jennifer L. Bellamy, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Stephen R. Shirk

Fourth Advisor

Omar Gudino

Fifth Advisor

Julia Dmitrieva


Adolescence, Depression, Youth


Hopelessness theory is a prominent cognitive theory of depression that has been shown to predict depression in youth. However, research has yet to elucidate normative mean-level development of the cognitive risk factor in hopelessness theory from childhood through adolescence. The current study utilized a multi-wave design and hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) analyses to examine mean-level negative cognitive style growth and stability in late childhood, early adolescence, and mid-late adolescence. Participant sex, emotional maltreatment, and major depression were also tested as predictors of negative cognitive style. For three years, youth (N = 681, ages 7-18 at baseline) were assessed every 1.5 years with measures of negative cognitive style and emotional maltreatment and every six months with semi-structured diagnostic interviews for major depressive episodes. Results showed decreasing trajectories of negative cognitive style in late childhood and mid-late adolescence and a marginally increasing trajectory in early adolescence. Sex differences emerged in the early adolescent cohort with girls increasing in negative cognitive style over time while boys decreased. Emotional maltreatment was associated with higher negative cognitive style in all cohorts. In the mid-late adolescent cohort, major depressive episodes over the course of the study were associated with higher negative cognitive style, and baseline history of major depression predicted an increasing trajectory of negative cognitive style over time. These findings give insight into the development of this important risk factor for depression and how sex differences in depression prevalence may emerge, as well as have implications for identifying youth who may be targets for depression prevention interventions to interrupt first onsets of depressive episodes and depressive recurrences.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Jessica R. Technow


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

81 p.


Clinical Psychology

Included in

Psychology Commons