David A. Cole

Vanderbilt University, Нашвилл, Michigan, United States

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Publications (130)518.6 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Adolescents are among the most frequent users of social media websites, raising concern about the dangers of cyber bullying or cybervictimization (CV). A 12-month longitudinal study examined the unique, prospective relation of CV to the development of negative self-cognitions and depressive symptoms in a community sample of 827 children and young adolescents (ages 8-13; 55.1 % female) from the southeastern United States. Over and above conventional types of peer victimization, CV significantly predicted changes in self-referential negative cognitions, victimization-related cognitive reactions, and depressive symptoms, even after controlling for baseline levels of the dependent variables. Results also showed that CV was significantly less stable than other forms of victimization and tended to increase slightly with time. The study highlights the unique effects of CV and has implications for research and practice.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
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    ABSTRACT: Many researchers are interested in using structural equation models to test theoretical relations among multidimensional constructs; however, logistical constraints often prevent researchers from obtaining multiple measures. The current study examines the implications for such models when a latent variable is extracted from carefully constructed parcels of items obtained from a single multidimensional measure of the multidimensional target construct. Two parceling methods are compared. One is homogeneous parceling, in which items are pooled so that each parcel represents a single lower order dimension of the higher order construct. The other is heterogeneous parceling, in which items are pooled so that each parcel represents all lower order dimensions of the higher order construct. Results of simulated and real data analysis reveal that both approaches can result in models that fit the data well; however, conceptual-theoretical differences exist in the nature of the latent variables that are extracted from homogeneous versus heterogeneous parcels. Additionally, compared with homogeneous parceling, heterogeneous parceling generates smaller (i.e., closer to zero) but tighter estimates of structural path coefficients, the net result of which is greater statistical power to test substantive relations among latent variables. Beyond parceling, implications surface about the nature of latent variables that emerge when the underlying constructs are multidimensional. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Psychological Methods
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    ABSTRACT: Building on an earlier study (Compas, Forehand, Thigpen, et al., 2011), tests of main effects and potential moderators of a family group cognitive-behavioral (FGCB) preventive intervention for children of parents with a history of depression are reported. Assessed a sample of 180 families (242 children ages 9-15 years) in a randomized controlled trial assessed at 2, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months after baseline. Significant effects favoring the FGCB intervention over a written information comparison condition were found on measures of children's symptoms of depression, mixed anxiety/depression, internalizing problems, and externalizing problems, with multiple effects maintained at 18 and 24 months, and on incidence of child episodes of major depressive disorder over the 24 months. Effects were stronger for child self-reports than for parent reports. Minimal evidence was found for child age, child gender, parental education, parental depressive symptoms, or presence of a current parental depressive episode at baseline as moderators of the FGCB intervention. The findings provide support for sustained and robust effects of this preventive intervention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
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    ABSTRACT: The current study examined peer victimization and harsh parenting as longitudinal predictors of broadband and narrowband cognitions associated with the etiology of depression in children and adolescents. The sample consisted of 214 elementary and middle school students. At the start of the study, their average age was 12.2 years (SD = 1.0). The sex ratio was 112 girls to 102 boys. The sample was ethnically diverse (58.9% Caucasian, 34.1% African American, 10.7% Hispanic, 3.3% Asian, and 5.2% other). Children and their parents completed measures of peer victimization and harsh parenting. At two waves 1 year apart, children also completed questionnaire measures of negative and positive broadband cognitive style (e.g., personal failure, global self-worth) and narrowband self-perceptions (e.g., perceived social threat, social acceptance). Every Wave 2 cognitive variable was predicted by peer victimization or harsh parenting or both, even after controlling for a Wave 1 measure of the same cognitive variable. Peer victimization more consistently predicted narrowband social/interpersonal cognitions, whereas harsh parenting more consistently predicted broadband positive and negative cognitions. Furthermore, controlling for positive and negative self-cognitions eliminated a statistically significant effect of harsh parenting and peer victimization on depressive symptoms. Support emerged for the social learning of negative self-cognitions. Support also emerged for negative self-cognitions as a mediator of depressive symptoms. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology
  • Nina C Martin · Julia W Felton · David A Cole
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    ABSTRACT: Framed by a previously established conceptual model of youths' posttraumatic stress (PTS) responses following a disaster, the current longitudinal study examined the relation of predisaster child characteristics (age, gender, depressive symptoms, ruminative coping), predisaster environmental characteristics (negative life events and supportive and negative friendship interactions), and level of disaster exposure to youths' PTS symptoms in the wake of a natural disaster. Prior to the 2010 Nashville, Tennessee, flood, 239 predominantly Caucasian youth from four elementary and middle schools (ages = 10-15, 56% girls) completed measures of depressive symptoms, rumination, negative life events, and social support in the form of both supportive and negative friendship interactions. Approximately 10 days after returning to school, 125 completed measures of disaster exposure and postflood PTS symptoms. Bivariate correlations revealed that disaster-related PTS symptoms were unrelated to age, gender, or predisaster supportive friendship interactions and significantly positively related to level of disaster exposure and predisaster levels of negative life events, depressive symptoms, rumination, and negative friendship interactions. After controlling for level of disaster exposure and other predisaster child and environmental characteristics, depressive symptoms and negative friendship interactions predicted postdisaster PTS symptoms. The effect of child's flood-related experiences on PTS symptoms was not moderated by any of the preexisting child characteristics or environmental indicators. Faced with limited resources after a natural disaster, school counselors and other health professionals should focus special attention on youths who experienced high levels of disaster-related losses and whose predisaster emotional and interpersonal lives were problematic.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology
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    Rolf Steyer · Axel Mayer · Christian Geiser · David A Cole
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    ABSTRACT: We present a revision of latent state-trait (LST-R) theory with new definitions of states and traits. This theory applies whenever we study the consistency of behavior, its variability, and its change over time. States and traits are defined in terms of probability theory. This allows for a seamless transition from theory to statistical modeling of empirical data. LST-R theory not only gives insights into the nature of latent variables but it also takes into account four fundamental facts: Observations are fallible, they never happen in a situational vacuum, they are always made using a specific method of observations, and there is no person without a past. Although the first fact necessitates considering measurement error, the second fact requires allowances for situational fluctuations. The third fact implies that, in the first place, states and traits are method specific. Furthermore, compared to the previous version of LST theory (see, e.g., Steyer et al. 1992, 1999), our revision is based on the notion of a person-at-time-t. The new definitions in LST-R theory have far-reaching implications that not only concern the properties of states, traits, and the associated concepts of measurement errors and state residuals, but also are related to the analysis of states and traits in longitudinal observational and intervention studies. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Clinical Psychology Volume 11 is March 28, 2015. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Annual Review of Clinical Psychology
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    ABSTRACT: The link between the experience of peer victimization (PV) and future psychological maladjustment has been consistently documented; however, little is known about intermediary cognitive processes that underlie this relation or how these processes vary across childhood. The present study examined the prospective relations between physical and relational PV and the development of negative and positive automatic thoughts and self-cognitions. Self-reports of cognitions and peer nomination measures of victimization were obtained from 1,242 children and young adolescents (Grades 3 through 6) in a two-wave longitudinal study. The results revealed that PV predicted significant increases in negative views of the self, world, and future and decreases in self-perceived competence for girls under 11 years of age, with the effect being stronger for younger girls. PV was not significantly associated with changes in positive or negative self-cognitions for older girls or for boys of any age. These findings support the hypothesis that PV may be linked to future psychopathology through its influence on self-cognitions, but only for girls.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Development and Psychopathology
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    Jacob Bishop · Christian Geiser · David A Cole
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    ABSTRACT: Latent growth curve models (LGCMs) are widely used methods for analyzing change in psychology and the social sciences. To date, most applications use first-order (single-indicator) LGCMs. These models have several limitations that can be overcome with multiple-indicator LGCMs. Currently, almost all multiple-indicator applications use the so-called second-order growth model (SGM; McArdle, 1988). In this article, we review the SGM and discuss 2 alternative, but less well-known, multiple-indicator LGCMs that overcome some of the limitations of the SGM: the generalized second-order growth model (GSGM) and the indicator-specific growth model (ISGM). In contrast to the SGM, the GSGM does not involve a proportionality constraint on the ratio of general to specific variance. The ISGM allows researchers to model indicator-specific growth. Both of these alternative models allow testing measurement invariance across time for state-variability components. We also present an empirical application regarding changes in self-reported levels of anxiety and discuss implications of the differences between the 3 models for applied research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Psychological Methods
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    ABSTRACT: Prior research has shown cognitive reactivity to be a diathesis for depression. Seeking evidence for the developmental origins of such diatheses, the current study examined peer victimization and harsh parenting as developmental correlates of cognitive reactivity in 571 children and adolescents (ages 8-13 years). Four major findings emerged. First, a new method for assessing cognitive reactivity in children and adolescents showed significant reliability and demonstrated construct validity vis-à-vis its relation to depression. Second, history of more severe peer victimization was significantly related to cognitive reactivity, with verbal victimization being more strongly tied to cognitive reactivity than other subtypes of peer victimization. Third, harsh parenting was also significantly related to cognitive reactivity. Fourth, both peer victimization and harsh parenting made unique statistical contributions to cognitive reactivity, after controlling for the effects of the other. Taken together, these findings provide preliminary support for a developmental model pertaining to origins of cognitive reactivity in children and adolescents. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    No preview · Article · May 2014 · Journal of Abnormal Psychology
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    ABSTRACT: Study designs involving clustering in some study arms, but not all study arms, are common in clinical treatment-outcome and educational settings. For instance, in a treatment arm, persons may be nested in therapy groups, whereas in a control arm there are no groups. Methodological approaches for handling such partially nested designs have recently been developed in a multilevel modeling framework (MLM-PN) and have proved very useful. We introduce two alternative structural equation modeling (SEM) approaches for analyzing partially nested data: a multivariate single-level SEM (SSEM-PN) and a multiple-arm multilevel SEM (MSEM-PN). We show how SSEM-PN and MSEM-PN can produce results equivalent to existing MLM-PNs and can be extended to flexibly accommodate several modeling features that are difficult or impossible to handle in MLM-PNs. For instance, using an SSEM-PN or MSEM-PN, it is possible to specify complex structural models involving cluster-level outcomes, obtain absolute model fit, decompose person-level predictor effects in the treatment arm using latent cluster means, and include traditional factors as predictors/outcomes. Importantly, implementation of such features for partially nested designs differs from that for fully nested designs. An empirical example involving a partially nested depression intervention combines several of these features in an analysis of interest for treatment-outcome studies.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Multivariate Behavioral Research
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    ABSTRACT: Researchers analyzing longitudinal data often want to find out whether the process they study is characterized by (1) short-term state variability, (2) long-term trait change, or (3) a combination of state variability and trait change. Classical latent state-trait (LST) models are designed to measure reversible state variability around a fixed set-point or trait, whereas latent growth curve (LGC) models focus on long-lasting and often irreversible trait changes. In the present article, we contrast LST and LGC models from the perspective of measurement invariance testing. We show that establishing a pure state-variability process requires (1) the inclusion of a mean structure and (2) establishing strong factorial invariance in LST analyses. Analytical derivations and simulations demonstrate that LST models with noninvariant parameters can mask the fact that a trait-change or hybrid process has generated the data. Furthermore, the inappropriate application of LST models to trait change or hybrid data can lead to bias in the estimates of consistency and occasion specificity, which are typically of key interest in LST analyses. Four tips for the proper application of LST models are provided.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Behavior Research Methods
  • David A Cole · Kristopher J Preacher
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    ABSTRACT: Despite clear evidence that manifest variable path analysis requires highly reliable measures, path analyses with fallible measures are commonplace even in premier journals. Using fallible measures in path analysis can cause several serious problems: (a) As measurement error pervades a given data set, many path coefficients may be either over- or underestimated. (b) Extensive measurement error diminishes power and can prevent invalid models from being rejected. (c) Even a little measurement error can cause valid models to appear invalid. (d) Differential measurement error in various parts of a model can change the substantive conclusions that derive from path analysis. (e) All of these problems become increasingly serious and intractable as models become more complex. Methods to prevent and correct these problems are reviewed. The conclusion is that researchers should use more reliable measures (or correct for measurement error in the measures they do use), obtain multiple measures for use in latent variable modeling, and test simpler models containing fewer variables. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Psychological Methods
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    ABSTRACT: Previous theory and research suggest that childhood experiences are more likely to generate depressive self-schemas when they focus attention on negative information about oneself, generate strong negative affect, and are repetitive or chronic. Persistent peer victimization meets these criteria. In the current study, 214 youths (112 females) with empirically-validated histories of high or low peer victimization completed self-report measures of negative and positive self-cognitions as well as incidental recall and recognition tests following a self-referent encoding task. Results supported the hypothesis that depressive self-schemas are associated with peer victimization. Specifically, peer victimization was associated with stronger negative self-cognitions, weaker positive self-cognitions, and an elimination of the normative memorial bias for recall of positive self-referential words. Effects were stronger for relational and verbal victimization compared to physical victimization. Support accrues to a model about the social-developmental origins of cognitive diatheses for depression.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
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    ABSTRACT: Cohen and Wills (Cohen, S., & Wills, T. A., 1985, Stress, social support, and the buffering hypothesis. Psychological Bulletin, 98, 310-357) described two broad models whereby social support could mitigate the deleterious effects of stress on health: a main effect model and stress-buffering model. A specific application of these models was tested in a three-wave, multimethod study of 1888 children to assess ways parental support (social support) mitigates the effects of peer victimization (stress) on children's depressive symptoms and depression-related cognitions (health-related outcomes). Results revealed that (a) both supportive parenting and peer victimization had main effects on depressive symptoms and cognitions; (b) supportive parenting and peer victimization did not interact in the prediction of depressive thoughts and symptoms; (c) these results generalized across age and gender; and (d) increases in depressive symptoms were related to later reduction of supportive parenting and later increase in peer victimization. Although supportive parenting did not moderate the adverse outcomes associated with peer victimization, results show that its main effect can counterbalance or offset these effects to some degree. Implications for practice and future research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Journal of Abnormal Psychology
  • Julia W Felton · David A Cole · Nina C Martin
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    ABSTRACT: The current longitudinal study tested hypotheses about Nolen-Hoeksema's (1987, 1991) response styles theory (RST) of depression in a sample of child and adolescent public school students. Wave 1 measures of rumination, distraction, and depression were obtained 6 months prior to the 2010 Nashville flood. Similar measures plus a measure of flood-related stressors were administered at Wave 2, approximately ten days after students returned to school after the flood. Results revealed an indirect effect of preflood rumination on postflood depressive symptoms via the intervening variable of postflood rumination, and partial mediation of the effect of preflood depression on postflood depression. Further, the interaction of rumination with flood-related stressors was moderated by age, suggesting that rumination may not become a strong cognitive diathesis for depression until adolescence. Developmental implications emerged for the treatment of child and adolescent victims of natural disasters and for the application of RST to children and adolescents. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
    No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Journal of Abnormal Psychology
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to find longitudinal evidence of the effect of targeted peer victimization (TPV) on depressive cognitions as a function of victimization type and gender. Prospective relations of physical and relational peer victimization to positive and negative self-cognitions were examined in a 1-year, 2-wave longitudinal study. Self-reports of cognitions and both peer nomination and self-report measures of peer victimization experiences were obtained from 478 predominantly Caucasian children and young adolescents (Grades 3-6 at the beginning of the study) evenly split between genders. As a result, (a) peer victimization predicted increases in negative cognitions and decreases in positive cognitions over time; (b) relational victimization was more consistently related to changes in depressive cognitions than was physical victimization; (c) the prospective relation between victimization and depressive cognitions was stronger for boys than for girls; and (d) when the overlap between relational and physical TPV was statistically controlled, girls experienced more relational TPV than did boys, and boys experienced more physical TPV than did girls. Peer victimization, particularly relational TPV, has a significant impact on children's depressive cognitions. This relation seems particularly true for boys. Implications for future research, clinical work with victimized youth at risk for depression, and school policy to help both victims and bullies are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology
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    ABSTRACT: During childhood and adolescence, physiological, psychological, and behavioral processes strongly promote weight gain and increased appetite while also inhibiting weight loss and decreased appetite. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV (DSM-IV) treats both weight-gain/increased-appetite and weight-loss/decreased-appetite as symptoms of major depression during these developmental periods, despite the fact that one complements typical development and the other opposes it. To disentangle the developmental versus pathological correlates of weight and appetite disturbance in younger age groups, the current study examined symptoms of depression in an aggregated sample of 2307 children and adolescents, 47.25% of whom met criteria for major depressive disorder. A multigroup, multidimensional item response theory model generated three key results. First, weight loss and decreased appetite loaded strongly onto a general depression dimension; in contrast, weight gain and increased appetite did not. Instead, weight gain and increased appetite loaded onto a separate dimension that did not correlate strongly with general depression. Second, inclusion or exclusion of weight gain and increased appetite affected neither the nature of the general depression dimension nor the fidelity of major depressive disorder diagnosis. Third, the general depression dimension and the weight-gain/increased-appetite dimension showed different patterns across age and gender. In child and adolescent populations, these results call into question the utility of weight gain and increased appetite as indicators of depression. This has serious implications for the diagnostic criteria of depression in children and adolescents. These findings inform a revision of the DSM, with implications for the diagnosis of depression in this age group and for research on depression. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
    No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Journal of Abnormal Psychology
  • Cong V Tran · David A Cole · Bahr Weiss
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    ABSTRACT: A 2-wave longitudinal study of young adolescents was used to test whether peer victimization predicts depressive symptoms, depressive symptoms predict peer victimization, or the 2 constructs show reciprocal relations. Participants were 598 youths in Grades 3 through 6, ages 8 to 14 (M = 10.9, SD = 1.2) at Wave 1. The sample was 50.7% female and 90.3% Caucasian. Participants completed self-reports of depressive symptoms, and self-reports and peer nomination measures of physical and relational peer victimization at 2 time points separated by 1 year. The results were as follows: (a) depressive symptoms predicted change in both physical and relational victimization, but neither type of peer victimization predicted change in depressive symptoms; (b) depressive symptoms were more predictive of physical victimization for boys than for girls; and (c) boys experienced more physical victimization, and girls experienced more relational victimization. Expression of some depressive symptoms may represent signs of vulnerability. For boys, they may also represent a violation of gender stereotypes. Both factors could be responsible for these effects. Implications for intervention include the possibility that treatment of depression in young adolescents may reduce the likelihood of peer victimization.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology
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    Amy S Weitlauf · David A Cole
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    ABSTRACT: Attributional style models of depression in adults (Abramson et al. 1989, 1978) have been adapted for use with children; however, most applications do not consider that children's understanding of causal relations may be qualitatively different from that of adults. If children's causal attributions depend on children's level of cognitive development, then support for attributional models of depression in young people will vary with cognitive development. In this paper, a new measure of cognitive development, the Peabody Causal Reasoning Test (PCRT), is introduced to assess children's understanding of ability versus effort, task difficulty, and luck as causal factors. Analyses revealed that in 8- to 16-year-old children, failure to control for level of cognitive development suppressed empirical support for cognitive diathesis-stress models of depression. Statistically controlling for measures of cognitive development strengthened support for this model.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
  • Melissa A Maxwell · David A Cole
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    ABSTRACT: One community sample (N = 607) of youths generated self-reported responses to body dissatisfaction, from which the Adolescent Responses to Body Dissatisfaction (ARBD) inventory was constructed. A 2nd, similar sample (N = 830) completed this measure as well as measures of coping, body dissatisfaction, body mass index, depressive symptoms, and disordered eating behaviors. Evidence of 6 ARBD factors emerged: Self-Acceptance, Compensatory Thinking, Diet/Exercise, Anxious Responding, Appearance Strategies, and Social Comparison. Subscales based on these factors provided evidence of convergent, discriminant, construct, and incremental validity. Sex and ethnic differences were also evident. Adolescents' use of Self-Acceptance and Compensatory Thinking strategies appeared to attenuate the relation between body dissatisfaction and psychopathology, whereas use of Diet/Exercise and Anxious Responding appeared to exacerbate this relation, especially in adolescents who were not overweight. The ARBD provides a window into potentially healthy and unhealthy ways in which adolescents cope with body dissatisfaction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Psychological Assessment

Publication Stats

7k Citations
518.60 Total Impact Points


  • 2001-2016
    • Vanderbilt University
      • • Department of Psychology and Human Development
      • • Department of Psychology
      Нашвилл, Michigan, United States
  • 1986-2008
    • University of Notre Dame
      • Department of Psychology
      Cole Camp, MO, United States
  • 1981
    • University of Houston
      • Department of Psychology
      Houston, Texas, United States