Gotlib and Krasnoperova (1998) review research using information- processing methodologies to determine whether biases in attention and memory are a vulnerability factor in depression. They argue that some aspects of cognitive processing may represent a vulnerability factor for depression and propose treatment and prevention interventions based on this line of research. In this paper, we discuss the conceptual issues related to the role of vulnerability in psychopathology and attempt to identify where and why additional research is necessary in designing new prevention and treatment strategies. We stress the importance of having a well-specified theory of how a vulnerability factor leads to depression and we examine conceptual problems such as specificity of outcome, the measurement of depression, relative and attributable risk, and sensitivity and specificity of the vulnerability factor. We conclude by evaluating the prevention and treatment proposals derived from this line of research and emphasize that, while this is a promising direction, such interventions must themselves be evaluated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology