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Jennifer Y.F. Lau, Stefano D. Belli, Alice M. Gregory, Maria Napolitano and Thalia C. Eley The role of children’s negative attributions on depressive symptoms: an inherited characteristic or a product of the early environment? Developmental Science 15

Version of Record online: 18 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01152.x

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Negative attributional style has been associated with depressive symptoms in children. Yet, it is unclear whether these cognitive biases reflect inherited characteristics of the broader depressive phenotype or are a product of children’s environments. While existing data in adolescents show that negative attributions reflect a genetic predisposition, elevating depressive responses to stress, other data suggest that negative attributions in children are more likely to reflect early environmental experiences on symptoms. Here, we assess the degree to which negative attributional style and depressive symptoms arise from common genetic, shared and non-shared environmental influences in childhood.

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