Cvd Project Design Participant Selection

Participants were selected for inclusion in the CVD project via a two-phase screening procedure. In the first phase, 5,378 freshmen (2,438 at Temple University, TU, and 2,940 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, UW) completed two measures of cognitive style: the Cognitive Style Questionnaire (CSQ; Alloy et al., 2000), a modified version of the Attri-butional Style Questionnaire (ASQ; Peterson et al., 1982), which assesses individuals' styles for inferring causes, consequences, and self-characteristics following the occurrence of positive and negative events, and a modified version of the Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale (DAS; Weissman & Beck, 1978). The primary modifications made to the ASQ in designing the CSQ were that more hypothetical events were included (12 positive and 12 negative events), the hypothetical events were changed to more adequately reflect life events likely to be faced by college students, and the dimensions of consequences and self-characteristics are assessed in addition to the attributional dimensions of internality, stability, and globality. The DAS was modified by adding an additional 24 items that specifically assess dysfunctional beliefs in the achievement and interpersonal domains. Individuals scoring in the highest (most negative) or lowest (most positive) quartile on both the DAS and the CSQ composite (stability + glo-bality + consequences + self) for negative events were designated at high (HR) and low (LR) cognitive risk for depression, respectively (for more details, see Alloy & Abramson, 1999; Alloy et al., 2000). Thus, participants in the CVD project were selected based on the presence versus absence of vulnerability to depression as specified by both the hopelessness theory (Abramson et al., 1989) and Beck's (1967, 1987) theory.

In the second phase of the screening process, a randomly selected subsample of HR and LR participants, who were under age 30, were administered an expanded version of the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-Lifetime (SADS-L) diagnostic interview (Endicott & Spitzer, 1978). The SADS-L was expanded to allow for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-III-R; American Psychiatric Association, 1987), as well as Research Diagnostic Criteria (RDC; Spitzer, Endicott, & Robins, 1978) diagnoses, and the data were also recoded according to DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Individuals were excluded from participation in the study if they exhibited any current Axis I disorder, current psychotic symptoms, past history of any bipolar-spectrum disorder, or any serious medical illness that would preclude participation in a longitudinal study. Participants who had a past unipolar mood disorder but had remitted for a minimum of 2 months were retained so as not to result in an unrepresentative sample of HR participants. More specifically, including only those HR participants with no prior history of depressive episodes may have yielded an unrepresentative group of HR participants (e.g., those who exhibit other protective factors, such as strong social support, that warded off the onset of depression). The final CVD project sample included 173 HR (83 at TU, 90 at UW) and 176 LR (87 at TU, 89 at UW) participants. Demographic and cognitive style characteristics of the final sample are presented in Table 2.1 (see Alloy & Abramson, 1999, and Alloy et al., 2000, for more details on the final sample's characteristics and representativeness).

Project Assessments

After agreeing to participate in the study, all participants completed a Time 1 assessment that included measures of Axis II personality disorders and dimensions (Personality Disorders Examination, PDE; Loranger, 1988), self-referent information processing (SRIP Task Battery; Alloy, Abramson, Murray, Whitehouse, & Hogan, 1997), cognitive styles (CSQ, DAS, sociotropy-autonomy, self-consciousness), coping styles (rumination vs. distraction), social support, negative life events (with a combination questionnaire and semi-structured interview modeled after Brown and Harris, 1978), and hypothesized mediating cognitions (inferences for actual events and negative views of self, world, and future). After completing the Time 1 assessment, participants were followed longitudinally for 5% years. For the first 2% years of the follow-up, participants completed interview and questionnaire assessments every 6 weeks. For the remaining 3 years of the fol-

TABLE 2.1 Final CVD Project Sample: Demographic and Cognitive Style Characteristics

High Risk

Low Risk

Temple Site N

DAS mean item score CSQ-Neg. Comp. mean item score Age (years)

Average parental education (years) Combined parental income (US$) Sex (% women) Ethnic group (% Caucasian)

Wisconsin Site N

DAS mean item score CSQ-Neg. Comp. mean item score Age (years)

Average parental education (years) Combined parental income (US$) Sex (% women) Ethnic group (% Caucasian)

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment