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This research was supported by a gift from Patricia and Rodes Hart, by support from the Warren Family Foundation, and by NICHD grant 1R01HD059891) to David A. Cole. We are especially grateful to Amy Jacky for her managerial support and good cheer throughout this project.
Previous theory and research suggest that childhood experiences are more likely to generate depressive self-schemas when they focus attention on negative information about oneself, generate strong negative affect, and are repetitive or chronic. Persistent peer victimization meets these criteria. In the current study, 214 youths (112 females) with empirically-validated histories of high or low peer victimization completed self-report measures of negative and positive self-cognitions as well as incidental recall and recognition tests following a self-referent encoding task. Results supported the hypothesis that depressive self-schemas are associated with peer victimization. Specifically, peer victimization was associated with stronger negative self-cognitions, weaker positive self-cognitions, and an elimination of the normative memorial bias for recall of positive self-referential words. Effects were stronger for relational and verbal victimization compared to physical victimization. Support accrues to a model about the social-developmental origins of cognitive diatheses for depression.
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- Linking Peer Victimization to the Development of Depressive Self-Schemas in Children and Adolescents
David A. Cole
Tammy L. Dukewich
Keneisha R. Sinclair
Sarah A. Bilsky
Nina C. Martin
Julia W. Felton
- Springer US