The relationships of personality and cognitive styles with self-reported symptoms of depression and anxiety

Jonathan M. Sutton*, Susan Mineka, Richard E. Zinbarg, Michelle G. Craske, James W. Griffith, Raphael D. Rose, Allison M. Waters, Maria Nazarian, Nilly Mor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Many studies have reported concurrent relationships between depressive symptoms and various personality, cognitive, and personality-cognitive vulnerabilities, but the degree of overlap among these vulnerabilities is unclear. Moreover, whereas most investigations of these vulnerabilities have focused on depression, their possible relationships with anxiety have not been adequately examined. The present study included 550 high school juniors and examined the cross-sectional relationships among neuroticism, negative inferential style, dysfunctional attitudes, sociotropy, and autonomy, with a wide range of anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as the incremental validity of these different putative vulnerabilities when examined simultaneously. Correlational analyses revealed that all five vulnerabilities were significantly related to symptoms of both anxiety and depression. Whereas neuroticism accounted for significant unique variance in all symptom outcomes, individual cognitive and personality-cognitive vulnerabilities accounted for small and only sometimes statistically significant variance across outcomes. Importantly, however, for most outcomes the majority of symptom variance was accounted for by shared aspects of the vulnerabilities rather than unique aspects. Implications of these results for understanding cognitive and personality-cognitive vulnerabilities to depression and anxiety are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-393
Number of pages13
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive vulnerability
  • Depression
  • Incremental validity
  • Neuroticism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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