SELF-DIRECTEDNESS AS A COGNITIVE FEATURE IN DEPRESSIVE PATIENTS
Richter, J., University of Rostock and Eisemann, M., University of Tromsoe, Germany
Cognitive theories of depression have contributed largely to our understanding of etiology and course of depressive disorders. Cloninger 's psychobiological theory of personality includes behavioural systems of temperament and character. Taken the probable high impact of self-esteem into account, major relationship were expected between self-directedness as a main character dimension and dysfunctional attitudes which in turn imply close relationships between the concept of character and cognitive theories of depression. - A consecutive sample of 184 mainly unipolar depressive inpatients was investigated by means of the BDI, DAS and TCI both at admission and discharge. - The scores of DAS factors and the BDI score could be significantly predicted by the personality dimensions as measured by means of the TCI. Accordingly, self-directedness emerged as the variable with the highest impact. - The exclusive importance of self-directedness in relation to cognitive dysfunctions could be explained by the significantly cognitive nature of the self-concept, which contains self-directedness. We assume that it is reasonable that dysfunctional attitudes in terms of depressogenic information processing could be involved in immature, irresponsible, unreliable and poorly integrated individuals who are characterised by a lack of internal organisational principles. This picture corresponds to the description of individuals low in self-directedness.