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May 2022

Stable trait components of hopelessness: Baseline and sensitivity to depression

Author(s): Fogg, L. F., Scheftner, W., Fawcett, J., Akiskal, H., Maser, J.

Journal/Book: J Abnormal Psychol. 1996; 105: 750 First St NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Amer Psychological Assoc. 155-165.

Abstract: Hopelessness (H) plays an important theoretical and practical role in depression. The authors hypothesized that a patient's H is comprised of(a) a baseline level of H when not depressed and (b) an increment in H related to the severity of depression at the time and the person's rate of increase in H as a function of severity of depression (sensitivity). Baseline and sensitivity are explanatory stable traits; H and depression are observed, time-varying states. The corresponding statistical model described well the longitudinal data of 316 participants. Baseline and sensitivity were uncorrelated and correlated with different clinical and demographic variables. Baseline predicted a future suicide attempt; sensitivity and H when depressed did not. It may be useful to ask ''How hopeless is this person when not depressed and how much more hopeless is he or she when depressed?'': rather than simply ''How hopeless is this depressed person?''

Note: Article MA Young, Rush Presbyterian St Lukes Med Ctr, Dept Psychiat, 1725 W Harrison St, Suite 955, Chicago, IL 60612 USA

Keyword(s): SUICIDAL IDEATION; AFFECTIVE-DISORDERS; CONTENT-SPECIFICITY; EVENTUAL SUICIDE; SCALE; RELIABILITY; PREDICTORS; BEHAVIOR; GENDER; STYLE


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