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Schemata (and other cognitions) were investigated in depressed adolescent girls and their mothers and were compared to those in a control group. Links between adolescent and maternal cognitions were also examined. There were 14 girls and mothers in the clinical group and 15 in the control group. The depressed adolescents had higher total scores on a measure of schemata than the control adolescents, and higher scores on several of its sub-scales. They also scored more highly on two other measures of cognition (dysfunctional attitudes and negative automatic thoughts). The mothers of the depressed adolescents were more depressed than mothers of control adolescents. However, the two groups of mothers did not differ on the measures of cognition, including schemata. Depression and schemata in adolescents were related to these variables in their mothers but only in the depressed group. Possible explanations for the findings, including the nature of the link between mood and cognition in the groups studied, are considered. Implications for cognitive theory and therapy in depressed adolescents are briefly discussed. © 2006 British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies.

Original publication




Journal article


Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

Publication Date





219 - 232


Adolescents, Cognition, Depression, Dysfunctional attitudes, Mothers, Schema