Date of Conferral







Denise Horton


Previous empirical research demonstrated that major depressive disorder (MDD) had a profound impact on adults. What remained unaddressed in the research was the ability of those with MDD to form positive responses during challenging life events. The purpose of this exploratory quantitative study was to examine the cognitive ability of MDD patients to form positive responses on a standardized psychological assessment. This study, guided by Beck's cognitive theory of depression, was designed to determine whether depressed individuals were prone to negativity and had decreased ability to form positive responses to challenging situations. A 2x2 ANOVA was used to analyze 116 participants who voluntarily completed the Changes in Outlook Questionnaire (CiOQ). Results indicated that the group diagnosed with MDD scored significantly lower than a control group on the positive response scale of the CiOQ and that men diagnosed with MDD scored significantly lower than women diagnosed with MDD on the positive response scale of the CiOQ. This research has positive social change implications in that practitioners may use the findings in developing more effective treatments to help those with MDD to learn to form positive responses in the midst of challenging life events. Practitioners may also develop their ability to recognize when men with MDD are depressed by using the CiOQ to obtain written responses from individuals who do not verbalize depression. This research may also be useful for future research and application within the field.