Alternative approaches for conceptualizing children's attributional styles and their associations with depressive symptoms. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examined whether two attribution frameworks relate to each other and to depressive symptoms in children. The first framework used a composite of stable/unstable, global/specific, and internal/external attributions for positive and negative events. The second framework used ability, effort, task difficulty, and luck attributions for positive and negative events. Participants were 185 elementary school children aged 8-12 years old. Results showed that the attribution approaches were significantly but modestly related, indicating that they are separate yet related constructs. Ability and task difficulty shared a high association, indicating that children may view them similarly. Results also showed that both approaches were significantly associated with depressive symptoms, even after taking the other into account. These findings suggest both attribution frameworks are useful for understanding childhood depression.(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

publication date

  • January 1, 2008