Clinical Neuroscience

[From life events to symptoms of anxiety and depression: the role of dysfunctional attitudes and coping]

MÉSZÁROS Veronika1, AJTAY Gyöngyi1, FODOR Kinga1, KOMLÓSI Sarolta1, BOROSS Viktor1, BARNA Csilla1, UDVARDY-MÉSZÁROS Ágnes1, PERCZEL FORINTOS Dóra1

NOVEMBER 28, 2014

Clinical Neuroscience - 2014;67(11-12)

[The aim of the present study was a systematic path-analytical investigation between the effects of life events, dysfunctional attitudes and coping strategies in relation with the exhibited depressive and anxiety symptoms in patients with mental disorders. Methods - Self-report data of 234 patients from our outpatient psychotherapy unit were analyzed. Life events, dysfunctional attitudes, coping strategies as well as symptoms of anxiety and depression were assessed by self-administerd questionnaires. Statistical methods included structural equation modelling, which enables the estimation of the magnitude and strength of individual variables within an overarching casual model, thus yielding a complex view on the possible processes underlying the development of the clinical symptoms of anxiety and depression. Results - Our findings indicate that both the number of negative life events and their subjectively experienced intensity contributed to the increase of dysfunctional attitudes. The presence of dysfunctional attitudes decreased the use of problem-focused coping strategies and increased the use of emotion-focused coping strategies. The use of problem-focused coping decreased symptom occurrence and emotion-focused coping strategies increased the frequency of symptoms of anxiety and depression. Our findings suggest that dysfunctional need for achievement and perfectionism directly increase the probability of depressive symptom manifestation. The attitude of external locus of control showed a significant relationship with anxiety symptoms through emotion-focused coping strategies and directly as well. Conclusion - Restructuring dysfunctional attitudes and developing problem-focused coping strategies are an important part of psychotherapeutic interventions aiming to decrease anxiety and depressive symptoms.]

AFFILIATIONS

  1. Semmelweis Egyetem, ÁOK, Klinikai Pszichológia Tanszék, Budapest

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