Comparing Cognitive, Metacognitive, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Models of Depression: a Longitudinal Study Survey

Span J Psychol. 2015 Jun 16;18:E39. doi: 10.1017/sjp.2015.31.


This study analyzed the interrelationships between key constructs of cognitive therapy (CT; depressogenic schemas), metacognitive therapy (MCT; dysfunctional metacognitive beliefs), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT; psychological inflexibility) in the prediction of depressive symptoms. With a lapse of nine months, 106 nonclinical participants responded twice to an anonymous online survey containing the following questionnaires: the Depression subscale of the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS), the Dysfunctional Attitude Scale Revised (DAS-R), the Positive beliefs, Negative beliefs and Need to control subscales of the Metacognitions Questionnaire-30 (MCQ-30), and the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire - II (AAQ-II). Results showed that when controlling for baseline levels of depressive symptoms and demographic variables, psychological inflexibility longitudinally mediated the effect of depressogenic schemas (path ab = .023, SE = .010; 95% BC CI [.008, .048]) and dysfunctional metacognitive beliefs on depressive symptoms (positive metacognitive beliefs: path ab = .052, SE = .031; 95% BC CI [.005, .134]; negative metacognitive beliefs: path ab = .087, SE = .049; 95% BC CI [.016, .214]; need to control: path ab = .087, SE = .051; 95% BC CI [.013, .220]). Results are discussed emphasizing the role of psychological inflexibility in the CT and MCT models of depression.

Keywords: acceptance and commitment therapy; depression; depressogenic schemas; dysfunctional metacognitive beliefs; psychological inflexibility.

MeSH terms

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Metacognition / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Personality / physiology*
  • Young Adult