The relationship among self-criticism, dependency, and locus-of-control in depressed college students

Sergio Julio Weber, Fordham University


Although depression research has frequently attempted to identify a relationship between depression and locus of control, there has been an absence of consistent results. Previous research has suggested that when the depressive mood level is statistically removed from the Rotter (1966) I-E Scale items, there is no relationship between scores on self-report depression questionnaires and locus of control. The present study examined the validity of the internal/external constructs of Dependency and Self-Criticism in the Depressive Experiences Questionnaire (DEQ). The DEQ was correlated with two other well-known self-report depression questionnaires and the I-E Scale. In addition, the Dependency factor of the DEQ was examined by correlation with a well-known measure of dependency. It was proposed that when the effects of mood level was statistically removed from the I-E Scale items, locus of control would be positively correlated with self-critical depression and negatively correlated with dependent depression as measured by the DEQ. One hundred and six college students (48 males and 58 females) completed three self-report depression questionnaires--the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) D (Depression) scale, and the DEQ (which includes the Dependency and Self-Criticism subscales) in order to obtain a broad measure of depression. In addition, the MMPI-Dy (Dependency), MMPI-L (Lie), and I-E scales were administered. The present inquiry suggested that the BDI and MMPI-D scales appear to be primarily measuring a self-critical aspect of depression while being significantly less sensitive to the dependency factor of the DEQ. Similarly, while the MMPI-Dy (dependency) scale is intended to be a measure of dependency only, significantly greater correlations were obtained between the MMPI-Dy scale and self-critical depression than with dependent depression. The I-E Scale was significantly correlated with depression, as measured by the three self-report depression rating scales used in this study. When corrective analyses were performed, however, the correlations between the I-E scale and the BDI, MMPI-D, DEQ Dependency, and DEQ Self-Criticism scales did not achieve significance. Implications and suggestions for future research were discussed.

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Recommended Citation

Weber, Sergio Julio, "The relationship among self-criticism, dependency, and locus-of-control in depressed college students" (1989). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8919999.