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Flashcards in Psychological explanations of depression Deck (16):

psychodynamic: mourning and melancholia

Mourning and melancholia (Freud 1917) explained how usually when a loved one is lost there is a mourning period and then life returns to normal. However for some people this turns into melancholia (depression). Freud believed that be unconsciously harbour negative feelings towards loved ones, and when we lose them these feelings are turned to ourselves. This is then followed by a mourning period where we separate ourselves from them. However in some people the self-hate continues, suggesting depression is ‘anger turned against oneself’.


psychodynamic: research support

Shah and Waller found many people with depression describe their parents as affectionless. Bifulco et al found children whos mother had died in their childhood were more likely to develop depression than other children.


psychodynamic: correlational

could be a lack of support, the feeling of being neglected could be a symptoms of the mental illness.


psychodynamic: limitations

Paykel and Cooper found loss only explains 10% of situations.


psychodynamic: treatment

psychoanalysis hasn’t been found to be very effective. However this may be due to their condition making it difficult to be motivated.


Cognitive: Beck (1967)

Beck (1967) proposed people develop a negative schema in childhood, for example rejection or criticism, which is activated when they encounter a new situation that resembles this. These are subject to cognitive biases in thinking and maintain the cognitive triad.


Cognitive: learned helplessness

is when a person tries but fails to control an unpleasant experience. This learned helplessness is then applied to situations in life they can actually control. The formulated helplessness theory (Abramson et al) suggests people with depression have an attributional style where they attribute baa outcomes to personal, stable and global character faults.


Cognitive: hopelessness

Abramson suggested depressed people also are pessimistic as they expect negative things to happen.


Cognitive: treatment

Butler and Beck (2000) reviewed 14 meta-analyses into the effectiveness of Becks cognitive therapy. They found it had an 80% success rate in adults and had a lower relapse rate than drug therapies.


Cognitive: necks theory evaluation

Bates et al (1999) found depressed ps who were given negative automatic thought statements became more depressed. Correlational, ethics.


Cognitive: learned helplessness evaluation

Seligman (1975) found that students who were exposed to uncontrollable aversive events were more likely to fail a cognitive task, showing control is needed.


Cognitive: hopelessness evaluation

Kwon (2002) assessed ps weekly and found those with a negative attributional style are more likely to be depressed. This could be more common in women than men due to society.


Sociocultural: life events

Life events may act as a trigger for people genetically predisposed to depression, e.g. Kendler et al. the cognitive model suggests those with a depressive attributional style can be triggered with even minor events due to their interpretation of what happened.


Sociocultural: social networks

Depressed individuals often report having sparse social networks with little support. This makes them less able to handle life events and so are more vulnerable. Research has also suggested their behaviour may result in social rejection (lack of eye contact, lack of participation in activities).


Sociocultural: life events evaluation

stress may cause depression, but depression also causes stress. Hammen (1997) suggested depression could cause the life events for example a partner may begin to lack social skills and therefore become divorced, which creates more stress.


Sociocultural: social networks evaluation

correlational. Cole (1990) found low social competence can predict depression in primary school children, and poor interpersonal problem-solving can predict depression in adolescents.