Attributional correlates of depression: An interactive model including problem solving

A. M. Nezu, George F Ronan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present investigation sought to evaluate the relationships between causal attributions, problem solving, and depressive symptomatology. We hypothesized that problem solving would function as a moderator variable between causal ascriptions and depression. To test this, 128 undergraduate students completed the Beck Depression Inventory, the Attributional Style Questionnaire, and the Problem-Solving Inventory. Results from a multiple regression analysis indicated that problem-solving scores were significant predictors of depression even after attributions were taken into account. Further, a negative attributions × problemsolving interaction was also found to be significantly related to depression scores. Causal ascriptions concerning positive events on the ASQ were found to be unrelated to BDI scores. Whereas these findings are in partial support of the reformulated learned-helplessness theory of depression, the results suggest the need to consider the interaction between causal attributions and problem-solving ability with respect to the study of depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-56
JournalBehavior Therapy
StatePublished - 1986


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