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KROKO study

Consequence or risk factor: What role do cognitive biases play in child and adolescent depression?

From studies in adults we know that depression is associated with cognitive biases at multiple stages of information processing, i.e. attention, interpretation, and memory. These biases are characterized by the automatic tendency to overly focus on negative compared to positive information and might play a role in the development as well as the maintenance of depressive symptoms.

However, it is unknown if cognitive biases represent correlates/consequences of depression or if they are risk factors that are already present before the onset of the disorder and that might contribute to its development.

The KROKO study investigates both attention and interpretation biases in depressed children and adolescents (age 9-14 years) in comparison to non-depressed children and adolescents with either a high or a low risk for depression. One aim of the study is to further characterise cognitive biases in youth affected by depression. The other aim is to figure out if cognitive biases represent consequences or risk factors by comparing the depressed group with a high-risk group (children of depressed parents hat have not suffered from depression yet).

Cognitive biases are assessed with several behavioural and eye-tracking tasks.