Author(s): Sherrill JT, Anderson B, Frank E, Reynolds CF rd, Tu XM,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract One of the most consistent findings in psychiatric research is that rates of major depression are at least twofold higher among women than among men. Although there is considerable agreement in the literature that life events play a role in producing, triggering, or maintaining episodes of depression, less is known about the relationship among gender, life events, and depression. In the present study, we compared the rates, focus ("interpersonal" vs. "non-interpersonal"), and timing of stressful life experiences reported in rigorous interviews of male and female patients with unipolar recurrent depression and nondepressed contrast subjects. Consistent with hypotheses, female patients were more likely to experience stressful life experiences than their male counterparts; rates of stressful life experiences did not differ between female and male controls. Unexpectedly, rates of interpersonal stress did not differ among males and females regardless of patient or control status. We also found no significant differences in the timing of pre-onset events: stressful events were generally concentrated in the period immediately preceding onset for both men and women. Thus, although these data suggest that life stress may play a larger role in the provocation of recurrent episodes of depression for women than for men, there do not seem to be sex differences in the extent to which interpersonal vs. noninterpersonal events and difficulties are associated with depression onset or in the temporal distribution of events. Implications of these results are discussed in the context of research on other putative factors contributing to gender differences in rates of depression.
This article was published in Depress Anxiety
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals