Cognitive Vulnerability to Emotional Disorders

Emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression, and dysfunctional patterns of eating are clearly among the most devastating and prevalent confronting practitioners, and they have received much attention from researchers--in personality, social, cognitive, and developmental psychology, as well as in clinical psychology and psychiatry. A major recent focus has been cognitive vulnerability, which seems to set the stage for recurrences of symptoms and episodes. In the last five years there has been a rapid proliferation of studies. In this book, leading experts present the first broad synthesis of what we have now learned about the nature, of cognitive factors that seem to play a crucial role in creating and maintaining vulnerability across the spectrum of emotional disorders. An introductory chapter considers theory and research design and methodology and constructs a general conceptual framework for understanding and studying the relationships between developmental and cognitive variables and later risk, and the difference between distal cognitive antecedents of disorders (e.g. depressive inferential styles, dysfunctional attitudes) and proximal ones (e.g. schema activation or inferences). Subsequent chapters are organized into three sections, on mood, anxiety, and eating disorders. Each section ends with an integrative overview chapter that offers both incisive commentary and insightful suggestions for further systematic research. A rich resource for all those professionally concerned with these problems, Cognitive Vulnerability to Emotional Disorders advances both clinical science and clinical practice.