The Relationship Between Cognitive Reappraisal and Depression in Middle Childhood
Keywords:childhood-onset depression, cognitive reappraisal, middle childhood, emotion regulation strategies
Cognitive reappraisal is associated with fewer depressive symptoms in adult and adolescent populations. Few studies have investigated the relationship between cognitive reappraisal and depression during middle childhood. The current study seeks to fill this gap in the literature. 76 participants ages 9-13 participated in a longitudinal study on preschool-onset depression. Data was gathered on participants’ cognitive reappraisal use and number of core depressive symptoms at each age. Greater cognitive reappraisal use at ages 9-13 was associated with fewer concurrent depressive symptoms. Children who had never experienced a depressive episode were 1.278 times more likely to use cognitive reappraisal than children who were in a current depressive episode (OR = 1.278, p = .064). Cognitive reappraisal at ages 9-13 did not predict depressive symptoms from ages 14-19. Cognitive reappraisal could prove to be an effective strategy for alleviating depressive symptoms in middle childhood. However, further research is needed to parse out the short-term and long-term nuances of this relationship.