Attributional style, hope, and initial response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors youth psychiatric inpatients

Thomas E. Joiner, Jessica S. Brown, Kathryn H. Gordon, Mark R. Rouleau, Karen Dineen Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


We investigated the role of attributional style in inpatients' initial response to treatment, particularly to SSRIs, and explored possible psychological factors implicated in response to SSRIs. One hundred youth psychiatric inpatients completed questionnaires at admission and discharge on attributional style, hopelessness, self-esteem, and depressive symptoms; medication status was recorded. Change in depressive symptoms from admission to discharge varied depending on negative attributional style status and treatment group status. Patients with a relatively positive attributional style and who were on SSRI medicines experienced the largest decreases in depression from admission to discharge, as well as the lowest absolute depression level at discharge. Depression changes were less pronounced in other patients, including those on SSRIs with a negative attributional style. Psychological processes corresponding to these changes appeared to involve increased hope, not enhanced self-esteem. Attributional style may moderate initial SSRI treatment response, an effect that appears to correspond with increased hope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-704
Number of pages14
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005



  • Attributional style
  • Hopelessness
  • SSRIs
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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