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Rachel Findlay

Doctor of Clinical Psychology
Study Completed: 2012
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Explanatory style and depression: The role of activity

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

The reformulated learned helplessness theory proposes that a pessimistic explanatory style renders an individual vulnerable to depression. While a large body of literature has supported this association, no prior study has been done with a New Zealand sample of clinically depressed adults. Furthermore, despite the importance of behavioural activation in recovery from depression, no prior research has examined the role of activity level or activity type in relation to these variables. Ms Findlay’s findings supported the association between explanatory style and depression. Provisional support was found for the proposed role of activity among interactions between explanatory style and depression. An additional study confirmed that an adaptation to the activity chart typically used within Cognitive Behaviour therapy yielded enhanced information regarding social interaction and perceptions of mastery and pleasure. This advantage could extend across both research and clinical settings for the examination of client activity.

Dr Jennifer Stillman
Dr Nikolaos Kazantzis
Associate Professor Paul Merrick

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