Aetiologies of Depression


A-Levels PY4 (Abnormal Psychology) Mind Map on Aetiologies of Depression, created by Hayd23 on 15/06/2013.
Mind Map by Hayd23, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by Hayd23 almost 11 years ago

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Aetiologies of Depression
  1. depression - mood disorder; low emotional state characterised by significant levels of sadness; lack of energy and self-worth, and feelings of guilt
    1. bipolar = extreme highs & lows, unipolar = just extreme lows
      1. 90% of depressive people have unipolar
      2. Biological: Genes
        1. Twin studies
          1. average rate of depression is 5%, so would expect identical twins to have a higher CR
            1. McGuffin (1996) - investigated the CR of depressive twins; found 46% CR for MZ and 20% CR for DZ
              1. suggests that depression has a heritable component
            2. Adoption studies
              1. Wender (1986) - biological relatives of adopted sufferers of depression are about 7x more likely than their adopted relatives to have had major depression
                1. however, can't generalise as not everyone is adopted
                2. children are often placed in adopted homes that are similar to their birth family
                  1. confuses the issue of genes and environment
                  2. if depression was completely due to genetic factors, then the CR would be 100%
                  3. Comorbidity
                    1. a relationship between depression and other psychological conditions
                      1. Kendler (1992) - a higher incidence of mental disorders in twins when looking at depression and generalised anxiety disorders rather than depression alone
                    2. Psychological: Cognitive Theories
                      1. Learned helplessness
                        1. Seligman (1975) - first discovered learned helplessness in his experiments on animals; dog was placed into a cage where one side was an electrified floor; dog would receive a painful shock through the floor and would quickly learn that to escape the shock he could jump over the barrier; however if the barrier was too high for the dog to jump then the dog soon accepted that the shocks were unavoidable and passively accepted the shocks; when the barrier was lowered again and escape became possible, the dog still did not try to escape
                          1. they had learned to be helpless
                          2. Seligman argued that this is what happens in depressed people
                            1. people experience several negative life events, feel that they can't escape, and learned to cope with it in that way
                            2. however, animals used so can't generalise and ethical issues
                              1. Abramson (1978) developed on learned helplessness; stated that people respond to failure in a number of ways
                                1. attribute the failure to an...
                                  1. internal cause (something within them such as personality / skill)
                                    1. external cause (other people / circumstances)
                                    2. cause of the failure is either...
                                      1. stable (likely to continue)
                                        1. unstable (might easily change)
                                        2. attribute the failure to a...
                                          1. global cause (applying to a range of situations)
                                            1. specific cause (applying to one situation)
                                            2. people with learned helplessness = internal, stable, specific
                                          2. Beck's theory of depression
                                            1. Negative self-schema - negative feelings and info that we have about ourselves
                                              1. once we have a negative self-schema, it becomes difficult for us to interpret any new info about ourselves positively
                                              2. when a person encounters a new situation that resembles the original conditions when the schemas were learned, they will interpret it negatively
                                                1. Beck's cognitive triad - negative self-schemas cause us to view ourselves, the world, and the future negatively
                                                  1. however, Lewinsohn (1981) concluded that there was no relationship between negative thoughts and irrational beliefs and future depression
                                                2. a strength - therapies based on cognitive assumptions are quite successful for depression
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