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01-08-2006 | Original Article | Uitgave 4/2006

Cognitive Therapy and Research 4/2006

Goals and Depressive Symptoms: Cross-lagged Effects of Cognitive versus Emotional Goal Appraisals

Tijdschrift:
Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 4/2006
Auteurs:
Georgia Pomaki, Laura ter Doest, Stan Maes

Abstract

Relationships between work goal appraisals and depressive symptoms were investigated in a 2-wave study of health care employees spanning a 2-year period. Cross-lagged models were tested and compared in structural equation modeling analyses. The results suggest that the direction of longitudinal relationships between work goal appraisals and depressive symptoms may depend on the nature of the appraisals. In the best-fitting model, goal self-efficacy cognitions predicted depressive symptoms 2 years later. This finding supports cognitive/self-regulatory theories positing that dysfunctional cognitions form a vulnerability factor in the etiology of depressive symptoms. On the other hand, we found no evidence that depressive symptoms predicted goal cognitions. Instead, depressive symptoms were associated with goal-related emotions two years later, suggesting that depressive symptoms may lead over time to greater negative emotional arousal. Implications for depression theory and goal research are discussed.

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