Hostname: page-component-cd4964975-96cn4 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-03-28T16:30:48.007Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Cognitive, life stress, and interpersonal approaches to a developmental psychopathology model of depression

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 October 2008

Constance Hammen
University of California, Los Angeles


One pathway to depression in children and adults is hypothesized to result from complex transactions among cognitive, stress, and interpersonal variables. Cognitive vulnerability includes not only appraisals of events and circumstances that emphasize personal unworthiness and incompetence, but also underlying beliefs and “working models” of the self and others. Such cognitions arise in part in the context of maladaptive attachment relations with the parents and may be reinforced by interpersonal incompetencies and difficulties in peer, family, and social relationships. Stressful conditions in early life and throughout development may undermine or erode the development of effective coping competencies. Moreover, maladaptive cognitions about the self and others, and ineffective coping competencies, may contribute to the occurrence of stressful events and circumstances —and these in turn may trigger depressive reactions. For many depressed people with chronic or recurrent depression, therefore, developmental processes play critical roles in the origin and continuation of the disorder.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1992

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Abramson, L. Y., Alloy, L. B., & Metalsky, G. I. (1988). The cognitive diathesis-stress theories of depression: Toward an adequate evaluation of the theories' validities. In Alloy, L. B. (Ed.), Cognitive process in depression (pp. 330). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
Abramson, L. Y., Seligman, M. E. P., & Teasdale, J. D. (1978). Learned helplessness in humans: Critique and reformulation. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 87, 4974.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Adrian, C., & Hammen, C. (1991a). Interview assessment of children's stress and its relation to depressive symptoms. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
Adrian, C., & Hammen, C. (1991b). Stress exposure in stress generation in children of depressed mothers. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
Anderson, C. A., & Hammen, C. (1991). Well and ill siblings in high risk families: Implications for the study of vulnerability and resilience. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
Arieti, S., & Bemporad, J. (1980). The psychological organization of depression. American Journal of Psychiatry, 137, 13601365.Google Scholar
Barnett, P. A., & Gotlib, I. H. (1988). Psychosocial functioning and depression: Distinguishing among antecedents, concomitants, and consequences. Psychological Bulletin, 104, 97126.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Beck, A. T. (1967). Depression: Clinical, experimental, and theoretical aspects. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
Beck, A. T. (1976). Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. New York: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
Beck, A. T. (1982). Cognitive therapy of depression: New perspectives. In Clayton, P. & Barrett, J. (Eds.), Treatment of depression: Old contravenes and new approaches (pp. 265290). New York: Raven.Google Scholar
Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., Kovacs, M., & Garrison, B. E. (1985). Hopelessness and eventual suicide: A ten-year prospective study of patients hospitalized for suicidal ideation. American Journal of Psychiatry, 142, 559563.Google Scholar
Billings, A. G., Cronkite, R., & Moos, R. (1983). Social-environmental factors in unipolar depression: Comparisons of depressed patients and nondepressed controls. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 92, 119133.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Billings, A. G., & Moos, R. H. (1984). Coping, stress, and social resources among adults with unipolar depression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 877891.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Blehar, M. C., Weissman, M. M., Gershon, E. S., & Hirschfeld, R. M. A. (1988). Family and genetic studies of affective disorders. Archives of General Psychiatry, 45, 289292.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bower, G. (1981). Mood and memory. American Psychologist, 36, 129148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss: Vol. 1. Attachment. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
Bowlby, J. (1980). Loss: Sadness and depression. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
Brown, G., Bifulco, A., & Harris, T. O. (1987). Life events, vulnerability and onset of depression: Some refinements. British Journal of Psychiatry, 150, 3042.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Brown, G. W., & Harris, T. (1978). Social origins of depression. London: Free Press.Google Scholar
Cicchetti, D. (1990). The organization and coherence of socioemotional, cognitive, and representational development: Illustrations through a developmental psychopathology perspective on Down syndrome and child maltreatment. In Thompson, R. (Ed.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, Vol. 36: Socioemotional development (pp. 259366). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar
Cicchetti, D., & Schneider-Rosen, K. (1986). An organizational approach to childhood depression. In Rutter, M., Izard, C., & Read, P. (Eds.), Depression in young people: Clinical and developmental perspectives (pp. 71134). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
Collins, N. L., & Read, S. J. (1990). Adult attachment, working models, and relationship quality in dating couples. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 644663.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Conrad, M., & Hammen, C. (1989). Role of maternal depression in perceptions of child maladjustment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57, 663667.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Coyne, J. C., Burchill, S. A. L., & Stiles, W. B. (1990). An interactional perspective on depression. In Snyder, C. R. & Forsyth, D. O. (Eds.), Handbook of social and clinical psychology: The health perspective. New York: Pergamon.Google Scholar
Coyne, J. C., & Downey, G. (1991). Social factors and psychopathology: Stress, social support, and coping processes. Annual Review of Psychology, 42, 401425.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cummings, E. M., & Cicchetti, D. (1990). Toward a transactional model of relations between attachment and depression. In Greenberg, M. T., Cicchetti, D., & Cummings, E. M. (Eds.), Attachment in the preschool years (pp. 339372). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Davila, J., Paley, B., Hammen, C., & Burge, D. (1991). Representations of relationships and their association with attachment. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
Depue, R. A., & Monroe, S. M. (1986). Conceptualization and measurement of human disorder and life stress research: The problem of chronic disturbance. Psychological Bulletin, 99, 3651.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Dohrenwend, B. S., Krasnoff, L., Askenasy, A. R., & Dohrenwend, B. P. (1978). Exemplification of a method for scaling life events: The Peri Life Events Scale. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 19, 205229.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Downey, G., & Coyne, J. C. (1990). Children of depressed parents: An integrative review. Psychological Bulletin, 708, 5076.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gold, P. W., Goodwin, F. K., & Chrousos, G. P. (1988). Clinical and biochemical manifestations of depression: Relation to the neurobiology of stress. New England Journal of Medicine, 319, 413420.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Goldin, L. R., & Gershon, E. S. (1988). The genetic epidemiology of major depressive illness. In Frances, A. J. & Hales, R. E. (Eds.), Review of psychiatry (Vol. 7, pp. 149167). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.Google Scholar
Gotlib, I. H., & Hammen, C. (in press). Psychological aspects of depression: Toward a cognitive interpersonal integration. New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
Hammen, C. (1988). Depression and cognitions about stressful life events. In Alloy, L. B. (Ed.), Cognitive processes in depression (pp. 77108). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
Hammen, C. (1990). Cognitive approaches to depression in children: Current findings and new directions. In Lahey, B. & Kazdin, A. (Eds.), Advances in clinical child psychology (Vol. 13). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
Hammen, C. (1991). Depression runs in families: The social context of risk and resilience in children of depressed mothers. New York: Springer-Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hammen, C. (in press-a). Psychological vulnerability to depression: A cognitive-environmental perspective. In Bloom, B. & Schlesinger, K. (Eds.), The First Boulder Symposium on Clinical Psychology: Depression. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Hammen, C. (in press-b). The family-environmental context of depression: A perspective on children's risk. In Cicchetti, D. & Toth, S. (Eds.), Rochester Symposium on Developmental Psychopathology, Vol. 4: A developmental approach to the affective disorders. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.Google Scholar
Hammen, C. (1991). The generation of stress in the course of unipolar depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 4, 555561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hammen, C., Adrian, C., Gordon, D., Jaenicke, C., & Hiroto, D. (1987). Children of depressed mothers: Maternal strain and symptom predictors of dysfunction. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 96, p190198.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hammen, C., Burge, D., & Adrian, C. (1991). The timing of mother and child depression in a longitudinal study of children at risk. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 59, 341345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hammen, C., Burge, D., & Stansbury, K. (1990). Relationship of mother and child variables to child outcomes in a high risk sample: A causal modeling analysis. Developmental Psychology, 26, 2430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hammen, C., Davila, J., Brown, G., Ellicott, A., & Gitlin, M. (1992). Psychiatric history and stress: Predictors of severity of unipolar depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 101, 4552.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hammen, C., Ellicott, A., & Gitlin, M. (in press). Stressors and sociotropy/autonomy: A longitudinal study of their relationship to the course of bipolar disorder. Cognitive Therapy and Research.Google Scholar
Hammen, C., Ellicott, A., Gitlin, M., & Jamison, K. R. (1989). Sociotropy/autonomy and vulnerability to specific life events in unipolar and bipolar patients. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 98, 154160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hammen, C., & Goodman-Brown, T. (1990). Self-schemas and vulnerability to specific life stress in children at risk for depression. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 14, 215227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hammen, C., Marks, T., Demayo, R., & Mayol, A. (1985). Self-schemas and risks for depression: A prospective study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49, 11471159.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hammen, C., Marks, T., Mayol, A., & Demayo, R. (1985). Depressive self-schemas, life stress, and vulnerability to depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 94, 308319.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hammen, C., & Zupan, B. A. (1984). Self-schemas, depression, and the processing of personal information in children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 37, 598608.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Harter, S. (1986). Cognitive-developmental processes in the integration of concepts about emotions and the self. Social Cognition, 4, 119151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jaenicke, C., Hammen, C., Zupan, B., Hiroto, D., Gordon, D., Adrian, C., & Burge, D. (1987). Cognitive vulnerability in children at risk for depression. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 15, 559572.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
Leahy, R. L. (1985). The costs of development: Clinical implications. In Leahy, R. L. (Ed.), The development of the self (pp. 267294). Orlando, FL: Academic.Google Scholar
Lewinsohn, P. M., Hops, H., Roberts, R., & Seeley, J. R. (1988, November). Adolescent depression: Prevalence and psychosocial aspects. Paper presented at the American Public Health Association's Annual Meeting, Boston.Google Scholar
Linville, P. W. (1985). Self-complexity and affective extremity: Don't put all of your eggs in one cognitive basket. Social Cognition, 3, 94120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Merikangas, K. R., Prusoff, B. A., & Weissman, M. M. (1988). Parental concordance for affective disorders: Psychopathology in offspring. Journal of Affective Disorders, 15, 279290.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Oatley, K., & Bolton, W. (1985). A social-cognitive theory of depression in reaction to life events. Psychological Review, 92, 372388.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Paykel, E. S. (1979). Recent life events in the development of the depressive disorder. In Depue, R. A. (Ed.), The psychobiology of the depressive disorders: Implications for the effects of stress (pp. 245262). New York: Academic.Google Scholar
Pyszczynski, T., & Greenberg, J. (1987). Self-regulatory perseveration and the depressive self-focusing style: A self-awareness theory of reactive depression. Psychological Bulletin, 102, 122138.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Robins, C. J., & Block, P. (1988). Personal vulnerability, life events, and depressive symptoms: A test of a specific interactional model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 847852.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rudolph, K., Hammen, C., & Burge, D. (1991). Children's working models of self, peers, and mother in relation to depressive symptoms. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
Rutter, M., & Quinton, P. (1984). Parental psychiatric disorder: Effects on children. Psychological Medicine, 14, 853880.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Segal, Z. V. (1988). Appraisal of the self-schema construct in cognitive models of depression. Psycho-logical Bulletin, 103, 147162.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Seligman, M. E. P. (1975). Helplessness. San Francisco: Freeman.Google ScholarPubMed
Teasdale, J. D. (1983). Negative thinking in depression: Cause, effect, or reciprocal relationship? Advances of Behaviour Research and Therapy, 5, 325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thase, M. E., & Howland, R. (in press). The biology of depression. In Bloom, B. & Schlesinger, K. (Eds.), The First Boulder Symposium on Clinical Psychology: Depression. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Thoits, P. A. (1983). Dimensions of life events that influence psychological distress: An evaluation and synthesis of the literature. In Kaplan, H. B. (Ed.), Psychosocial stress: Trends in theory and research (pp. 33103). New York: Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zupan, B. A., Hammen, C., & Jaenicke, C. (1987). The effects of current mood and prior depressive history on self-schematic processing in children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 43, 149158.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed