'I am worthless and kind': the specificity of positive and negative self-evaluation in adolescent depression

Orchard, Faith, Pass, Laura and Reynolds, Shirley (2019) 'I am worthless and kind': the specificity of positive and negative self-evaluation in adolescent depression. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58 (3). pp. 260-273. ISSN 0144-6657

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Abstract

Objectives: Adolescence represents a critical phase when the concept of self is developed and consolidated. Depressed adolescents globally endorse more negative and fewer positive self-descriptive words compared with non-depressed adolescents. Yet the methods used have not allowed for more detailed exploration of the specific content of these self-endorsements. Methods: Adolescents, aged 12-18 years, were recruited from the community (n = 204) and from a child and adolescent mental health service in the UK (n = 87). Participants completed measures of depression and a self-description questionnaire which included 12 positive and 12 negative self-descriptive adjectives. Results: As expected, we replicated previous findings that depressive symptoms are associated with global positive and negative self-endorsements. The difference between mean scores was examined for each adjective. Depressed adolescents endorsed all negative adjectives more highly relative to community adolescents; ratings of ?worthless? and ?useless? had the biggest difference between community and depressed adolescents. Surprisingly, a group of positive prosocial self-descriptors were endorsed equally by depressed and community adolescents and were not associated with severity of depressive symptoms. Conclusions: Although depressed adolescents endorsed more negative descriptions of themselves than community adolescents, positive self-endorsements related to their relationships with other people were not impaired.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 20 May 2019 09:30
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2020 00:42
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/71059
DOI: 10.1111/bjc.12215

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