Presentation Title

Examining Child Verbalizations as Predictors of Risk for Early Childhood Depression

Faculty Mentor

Sara Bufferd, PhD.

Start Date

23-11-2019 8:00 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 8:45 AM

Location

41

Session

poster 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Author: Amanda Dowdy, California State University San Marcos

Mentor: Sara Bufferd, PhD., Department of Psychology, California State University San Marcos

Examining Child Verbalizations as Predictors of Risk for Early Childhood Depression

Preschool-aged children can experience symptoms of depression as well as impairment across domains when age-appropriate measures are used. The assessment of cognitive styles is a way to examine risk for depression, and negative cognitive styles are related to risk for depression in older children and adults. However, few studies have examined negative cognitive styles in preschool-aged children as predictors of risk for early childhood depression. One way to assess cognitive styles in preschool-aged children is to examine their verbalizations. The present study assessed the quality of children’s verbalizations in relation to known risk factors for depression, child negative emotionality and parent history of depression. It was hypothesized that more negative and fewer positive verbalizations would be associated with children’s parent- and experimenter-rated negative emotionality (anger and sadness) as well as parental depressive symptoms. Participants included 124 preschool-aged children and their parents (98.4% mothers). Children’s verbalizations were assessed during a stress-inducing laboratory task in which they were given a toy in a locked box they could not open. Parents completed questionnaires about their children’s negative emotionality and their own depressive symptoms. Experimenters rated children’s negative emotionality across ten laboratory tasks. Correlations were computed among study variables controlling for children’s receptive vocabulary. Positive self-verbalizations were significantly negatively correlated with parental depression (r=-.241, p=.007). Assistance-seeking verbalizations were significantly positively correlated with experimenter-rated child negative emotionality (r=.184, p=.042). Negative self-verbalizations were also significantly correlated with experimenter-rated negative emotionality (r=.398, p

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Nov 23rd, 8:00 AM Nov 23rd, 8:45 AM

Examining Child Verbalizations as Predictors of Risk for Early Childhood Depression

41

Author: Amanda Dowdy, California State University San Marcos

Mentor: Sara Bufferd, PhD., Department of Psychology, California State University San Marcos

Examining Child Verbalizations as Predictors of Risk for Early Childhood Depression

Preschool-aged children can experience symptoms of depression as well as impairment across domains when age-appropriate measures are used. The assessment of cognitive styles is a way to examine risk for depression, and negative cognitive styles are related to risk for depression in older children and adults. However, few studies have examined negative cognitive styles in preschool-aged children as predictors of risk for early childhood depression. One way to assess cognitive styles in preschool-aged children is to examine their verbalizations. The present study assessed the quality of children’s verbalizations in relation to known risk factors for depression, child negative emotionality and parent history of depression. It was hypothesized that more negative and fewer positive verbalizations would be associated with children’s parent- and experimenter-rated negative emotionality (anger and sadness) as well as parental depressive symptoms. Participants included 124 preschool-aged children and their parents (98.4% mothers). Children’s verbalizations were assessed during a stress-inducing laboratory task in which they were given a toy in a locked box they could not open. Parents completed questionnaires about their children’s negative emotionality and their own depressive symptoms. Experimenters rated children’s negative emotionality across ten laboratory tasks. Correlations were computed among study variables controlling for children’s receptive vocabulary. Positive self-verbalizations were significantly negatively correlated with parental depression (r=-.241, p=.007). Assistance-seeking verbalizations were significantly positively correlated with experimenter-rated child negative emotionality (r=.184, p=.042). Negative self-verbalizations were also significantly correlated with experimenter-rated negative emotionality (r=.398, p