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Association of perfectionistic and dependent dysfunctional attitudes with subthreshold depression

Authors Horiuchi S, Aoki S, Takagaki K, Shoji F

Received 1 March 2017

Accepted for publication 12 July 2017

Published 14 August 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 271—275

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S135912

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman

Satoshi Horiuchi,1 Shuntaro Aoki,2,3 Koki Takagaki,4 Fumihito Shoji5

1Faculty of Social Welfare, Iwate Prefectural University, Iwate, Japan; 2Graduate School of Psychological Science, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, Hokkaido, Japan; 3Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo, Japan; 4Department of Psychiatry and Neurosciences, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan; 5Graduate School of Social Welfare, Iwate Prefectural University, Iwate, Japan

Background: Dysfunctional attitudes are beliefs and attitudes that induce negative thoughts about the self, others, and the future, leading to depression. Perfectionistic dysfunctional attitudes are beliefs and attitudes about achievement and excessive fear of failure, while dependent dysfunctional attitudes are beliefs and attitudes about dependency on, and approval from, others. Subthreshold depression refers to a depressive state that does not meet the diagnostic criteria for a major depressive episode. This study examined whether the difference in perfectionistic dysfunctional attitudes between college students with subthreshold depression and those with no depression would be greater than that of dependent dysfunctional attitudes.
Methods: Participants were defined as having subthreshold depression if they scored 16 or higher on the Japanese version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale but did not meet the diagnostic criteria for a major depressive episode, as assessed by the major depressive episode module of the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview. The participants included 21 male and 87 female college students, with a mean age of 20.3 years. Dysfunctional attitudes were evaluated with the Japanese version of the 24-item Dysfunctional Attitude Scale.
Results: Of the 108 students, 34 had subthreshold depression while 74 had no depression. The magnitudes of the differences in perfectionistic and dependent dysfunctional attitudes between the students with subthreshold depression and those with no depression were large (Cohen’s d=0.83) and small (Cohen’s d=0.25).
Conclusion: The results of this study provide the first evidence that the difference in perfectionistic dysfunctional attitudes between college students with subthreshold depression and those with no depression is greater than that of dependent dysfunctional attitudes.

Keywords: subthreshold depression, dysfunctional attitudes, dysfunctional attitude scale, perfectionism
 

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