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Information Processing in Recovered Depressed Children and Adolescents

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Previous research into subjective probability estimates for negative events revealed that depressed children estimated events as equally likely to happen to themselves as to other children. In contrast, both controls and anxious children estimated that negative events were more likely to happen to others than to themselves. The present study followed up this finding by investigating the subjective probability judgements concerning future negative events generated by children and adolescents who have recovered from depression. Subjects generated probability estimates either for themselves or for other children for a range of negative events on a visual analogue scale. The results revealed that both recovered depressed and matched control groups estimated negative events as significantly more likely to happen to others than to themselves. It was also found that the recovered depressed subjects estimated that negative events were less likely overall, compared to the controls. These results are discussed in the context of the adult literature.
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Keywords: Probability estimates; childhood depression; cognitive processing; recovered depression

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK 2: Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK 3: University of Birmingham, UK

Publication date: October 1, 1998

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