Effects of sex, mood and sex-role beliefs on interpersonal responses to depressed persons
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This study examined interpersonal reactions to depressed individuals as a function of the sex of a depressed person, and the sex and sex-role beliefs of the respondent. Egalitarian and traditional participants of both sexes viewed videotapes of an interaction between a clinically depressed individual and a partner. All possible combinations of sex pairings between the depressed individual and the partner were used. Participants viewed the videotapes which contained a partner who was of the same sex as them. Participants’ change in moods, interpersonal reaction and ratings of masculinity/femininity of the depressed person were assessed. Results indicated that exposure to depressed individuals was associated with increased negative moods (sadness, hostility and impatience) and decreased positive moods (happiness, friendliness and relaxation). Depressed individuals were also seen as more feminine and less masculine than their non-depressed counterparts. Additionally, females, but not males, rejected depressed people more than non-depressed people. Traditional individuals rejected depressed males more than non-depressed males. Egalitarian participants rejected depressed females more than non-depressed females. Overall, the results support previous works that depression is seen as feminine (Hammen & Peters, 1978; Landrine, 1988; Tan & Maxton, 1993) and that it induces negative moods in others (e.g., Boswell & Murray, 1981; Gotlib & Beatty, 1985; Hammen & Peters, 1978; Strack & Coyne, 1983; Siegal & Alloy, 1990; Tan & Maxton, 1993). Interpersonal rejection seems to be affected jointly by the sex of the depressed person and of the respondent and the respondent’s sex-role beliefs.
- Retrospective theses