Authors: Philip C. Kendall and Steven D. Hollon
The ATQ is a 30-item instrument that measures the frequency of automatic negative statements about the self. Such statements play an important role in the development, maintenance and treatment of various psychopathologies, including depression.
ATQ taps 4 aspects of these automatic thoughts: personal maladjustment and desire for change (PMDC), negative self-concepts and negative expectations (NSNE), low self-esteem (LSE), and Helplessness.
Scoring: Items are rated on the frequency of occurrence from “not at all” to “all the time”. Total scores are the sum of all 30 items. Items on each factor are: PMDC: 7, 10, 14, 20, 26; NSNE: 2, 3, 9, 21, 23, 24, 28; LSE: 17, 18; Helplessness: 29, 30. A high total score indicates a high level of automatic negative self-statements.
Reliability: The instrument has excellent internal consistency with an alpha coefficient of .97.
Validity: The items significantly discriminated depressed from nondepressed subjects. Has good concurrent validity, correlating with 2 measures of depression, the Beck Depression Inventory and the MMPI Depression scale.
Hollon, S. D. & Kendall, P. C. (1980). Cognitive self-statements in depression: Development of an Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 4, 383 – 395.
feel like I’m up against the world
I’m no good.
Why can’t I ever succeed?
No one understands me.
I’ve let people down.
I don’t think I can go on.
I wish I were a better person
I’m so weak.
My life’s not going the way I want it to.
I’m so disappointed in myself.
Nothing feels good anymore.
I can’t stand this anymore.
I can’t get started.
1 = “not at all”, 2 = “sometimes”, 3 = “moderately often”, 4 = “often”, and 5 = “all the time”