The pattern of irrational beliefs associated with major depressive disorder

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Lyne Prud'Homme
Pierre Baron
Cite this article:  Prud'Homme, L., & Baron, P. (1992). The pattern of irrational beliefs associated with major depressive disorder. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 20(3), 199-212.


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In light of rational-emotive theory, this study was undertaken to determine the pattern of irrational beliefs underlying major depressive disorder (MDD). A total of 126 participants (50 males, 76 females) volunteered to participate. Patients clinically diagnosed with MDD (unipolar type) and a control group of non-depressed patients were solicited from the inpatient and outpatient facilities of several Ottawa and Montreal hospitals; the normal control group comprised students and civil servants. The participants completed questionnaires to measure irrational belief endorsement (IBT, RBI) and symptom severity (STAI, BDI) and to verify the depression diagnosis (IDD). Multivariate statistics were used to determine the pattern of beliefs which best discriminates between the MDD group, the psychiatric control group, and the normal controls. Discriminant analysis of the IBT revealed a pattern of 4 irrational beliefs called demand for approval, frustration reactivity, anxious overconcern, and helplessness over past. The implications of such findings for RET theory are discussed.


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