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05-09-2017 | Uitgave 2/2018

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 2/2018

Temperament, Repetitive Negative Thinking, and Depressive Symptoms in Early Adolescence: a Prospective Study

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment > Uitgave 2/2018
Patricia Bijttebier, Margot Bastin, Sabine Nelis, Sofie Weyn, Koen Luyckx, Michael W. Vasey, Filip Raes
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Margot Bastin is joint first author.


Repetitive negative thinking (RNT) is a transdiagnostic vulnerability factor, involved in the maintenance of a variety of emotional problems. Recently, the Perseverative Thinking Questionnaire – Child version (PTQ-C) was developed as a content-independent measure of RNT in children and adolescents. The current study investigated the reliability and predictive validity of the PTQ-C and examined temperament as a developmental predictor of RNT. For this end, 701 early adolescents completed measures of RNT, depressive symptoms, stressors, and temperament, both at baseline and after three months. First, the factor structure of the PTQ-C was investigated by comparing a one-factor model and a three-factor higher-order model using confirmatory factor analyses. Both models showed good fit to the data, but the more parsimonious one-factor model was retained. Internal consistency, as measured by cronbach’s alpha and (hierarchical) omega, was found to be excellent for the total scale. Second, associations with depressive symptom levels were examined. RNT predicted both concurrent and prospective symptom levels, even when taking into account baseline depressive symptoms. RNT was further shown to act as a moderator strengthening the link between stress and levels of depressive symptoms, both concurrently and prospectively. Finally, associations with temperament were explored by investigating the mediating role of RNT in the association between temperament dimensions and depressive symptoms. One indirect effect was found, with low effortful control predicting increases in depressive symptoms through heightened levels of RNT. The current study supports the PTQ-C as a useful and psychometrically sound measure of dysfunctional RNT that may facilitate research on emotional problems in child and adolescent samples.

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