Although information processing has been widely studied with depressed adults, little emphasis has been placed on the specificity of resultant findings to depression, as opposed to other psychological disorders. Analogously, even less effort has been directed toward examining the information processing styles of depressed children and adolescents. The present study investigated the specificity of information processing styles to depression and anxiety among 58 youth psychiatric inpatients. To assess information processing, we used a self-referent encoding task, in which participants were presented with positive and negative adjectives; participants were asked whether these adjectives described them or not, and were then tested on recall of the adjectives. After controlling for age and gender, lower rates of positive adjective endorsement and lower rates of positive adjective recall were found to be associated with depression, but not anxiety. Additionally, negative adjective endorsement was associated with anxiety symptoms. These results suggest specific cognitive features of depressive symptoms.