Vulnerability to depression and cognitive bias modification

Chan, Stella (2012) Vulnerability to depression and cognitive bias modification. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia .

[thumbnail of 2012ChanSWYPhD.pdf]
Download (1MB) | Preview


Background and Aims. Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM) has been found to be
effective in promoting positive interpretations and mood in adults, including those
with symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, only four studies have been
conducted in adolescent populations. This study therefore aimed to further
investigate the effects of CBM in adolescents, including those who have higher risk
for developing depression by virtue of neuroticism. Method. This study adopted a
between-groups experimental design across three time points. Seventy-four
adolescents aged 16 – 18 were randomised into receiving either two sessions of
CBM or control intervention. Their interpretation bias and mood were measured at
baseline, immediately post-training and one week afterwards. Stress vulnerability
was assessed using a novel experimental stressor; participants were also asked to
report their daily mood and stressful events over one week. Feedback was collected.
Results. The CBM group showed a greater reduction in negative affect than the
control. In addition, the CBM group did not show the increase in state anxiety as
seen in control participants. However, CBM did not show superior benefits in other
outcome measures. Both groups displayed an increase in positive interpretations, a
decrease in negative interpretations, and a reduction in depressive symptoms. The
two groups did not differ in their responses to stress. Participants with higher scores
on neuroticism showed higher levels of negative interpretation bias, mood symptoms
and stress vulnerability. However, there was no evidence to suggest that neuroticism
acts as a moderator of training effects. Feedback from participants was mostly
positive. Conclusion. Overall, this study has not yielded strong supportive evidence
for the use of CBM in healthy or vulnerable adolescents. Despite methodological
limitations, this study has broadened the evidence base of CBM in adolescent populations. It also represents an important step in developing CBM as a preventive intervention for vulnerable adolescents.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Depositing User: Zoe White
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2013 15:17
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2013 15:17

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item