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Keywords:

  • automatic thoughts;
  • depression;
  • dysfunctional attitudes;
  • integrated cognitive model;
  • Latin-American;
  • negative life events

Objective: The objective of the present study is to test the validity of the integrated cognitive model (ICM) of depression proposed by Kwon and Oei with a Latin-American sample. The ICM of depression postulates that the interaction between negative life events with dysfunctional attitudes increases the frequency of negative automatic thoughts, which in turns affects the depressive symptomatology of a person. This model was developed for Western Europeans such as Americans and Australians and the validity of this model has not been tested on Latin-Americans.

Method: Participants were 101 Latin-American migrants living permanently in Brisbane, including people from Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Argentina and Guatemala. Participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory, the Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale, the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire and the Life Events Inventory. Alternative or competing models of depression were examined, including the alternative aetiologies model, the linear mediational model and the symptom model.

Results: Six models were tested and the results of the structural equation modelling analysis indicated that the symptom model only fits the Latin-American data.

Conclusions: Results show that in the Latin-American sample depression symptoms can have an impact on negative cognitions. This finding adds to growing evidence in the literature that the relationship between cognitions and depression is bidirectional, rather than unidirectional from cognitions to symptoms.