Child Mental Health: The role of different Attributional Styles

  • Zaneta D’Mello
  • Shinto Thomas


Background: High prevalence of mental health issues in the twenty-first century accounts for a lion share in the worldwide burden of disease. There is an alarming decrease in the onset of half of the mental health problems. Hence, it is necessary to explore the current situation and figure out the causes and preventive measures as well as the appropriate mental health enhancement measures. Individual characteristics, such as thinking patterns and perception, have an impact on the mental health. Attributional style is one source of ‘cognitive vulnerability’ which influences mental health disorders. Therefore, the present study examines whether there are any variations in the mental health of children with different attributional styles.

Methods: The current research adopted a cross-sectional research design and selected 150 school going students [74 males and 76 females] between 10-13 years of age as participants. The Child Attributional Style Questionnaire [CASQ], Satisfaction with Life Scale-Children [SWLS-C], Brief Resilience Scale, and Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale [RCADS] are used to gather information.

Results: The results indicated that children with a pessimistic attributional style experienced more depression and generalized anxiety than children with other two attributional styles.  In terms of gender differences in mental health, female students with pessimistic attributional style significantly differed from their counterparts on depression [χ2 [2] = 10.131, p = 0.006] and separation anxiety [χ2 [2] = 6.456, p = 0.040].

Conclusion: Attributional style seems to have a significant role in depression and anxiety in female children. Although male children did not show any statistically significant results, they were more likely to be pessimistic in terms of their attributional style, which makes them vulnerable to mental health issues.

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