Clinically depressed adults’ idiographic goals and causal explanations

Mitzman, Susan Fiona (2013). Clinically depressed adults’ idiographic goals and causal explanations. University of Birmingham. Clin.Psy.D.

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Background: Goal motivational factors alone do not fully account for depression and having vague future goals is thought to contribute to depression. This study seeks to extend the goal theory literature by investigating the specificity of clinically depressed adults’ idiographic approach and avoidance goals and their associated causal explanations. The content of depressed adults’ personal goals is also explored. Method: Specificity coding schemes for goals and causal explanations, and goal content coding schemes, were applied to an established data set comprising adult, clinically depressed (n = 21) and control samples (n = 24). Results: Participants generated, overall, more over-general approach goals than avoidance goals. As predicted, depressed participants compared to controls, generated more over-general goals than specific goals. Depressed adults also generated more over-general causal explanations than controls for all types of reasons and goals, except pro-reasons for avoidance goals. Differences were also found between the depressed group, and the control group, in relation to goal content. Conclusions: Adults with clinical depression appear to be markedly compromised by; their difficulty in formulating specific goals, the content and quality of their goals, and their difficulty in formulating specific reasons for goal accomplishment.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Clin.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Clin.Psy.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


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