Evaluation of the integrated cognitive model of depression and its specificity in a migrant population

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Abstract

This study empirically tested the specificity of the integrated cognitive model (ICM) of depression, which postulates that negative life events interact with dysfunctional attitudes to increase the frequency and severity of automatic thoughts, subsequently affecting depressive symptoms. We also examined the three competing models: the linear mediation model, the alternative etiologies model, and the symptom model. We anticipated that we might examine these models more appropriately using data from a population at an increased risk of developing depressive symptoms. As such, two-wave panel data were obtained from a group of 107 Korean migrants who had been in Australia less than 1 year. Structural equation modeling revealed that the ICM provided an adequate and much better fit than the three competing models. The ICM was also found to support the cognitive specificity theory of depression and anxiety. These findings suggest that dysfunctional attitudes can be a common cognitive moderator of depression and anxiety, whereas automatic thoughts and anxious self-statements can be specific cognitive mediators of anxiety and depression, respectively. Depression and Anxiety 24:112–123, 2007. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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