Social information processing in aggressive and depressed children

Child Dev. 1992 Dec;63(6):1305-20.


Social information processing patterns of children who were identified as being aggressive or depressed, both, or neither were compared in order to address the issue of specificity and to explore whether children who are comorbid show a unique processing style. Subjects were 220 children in the third through sixth grade. Peer nomination and teacher ratings were used to assess level of aggression, and the Children's Depression Inventory was used to measure level of depression. Aggressive children showed a hostile attributional bias, were more likely to report that they would engage in aggressive behavior, and indicated that aggression would be easy for them. Depressed children similarly showed a hostile attributional bias, although they were more likely to attribute negative situations to internal, stable, and global causes. Depressed children also reported that they would be less likely to use assertive responses and that they expected that assertive behavior would lead to more negative and fewer positive outcomes. Children who were comorbid generally showed patterns similar to both aggressive and depressed children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Cognition*
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory
  • Psychology, Child*
  • Sex Factors