Psychological characteristics in seasonal and nonseasonal depression
Wrzecionek, Andrea Kathryn
Master of Arts
DisciplinePsychology : Clinical
MetadataShow full item record
The present study compared three groups of individuals (Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, nonseasonally depressed or NSD, and healthy controls) to establish similarities and differences among them in various psychological variables: sociotropy and autonomy, sensitivity to interpersonal rejection, social anxiety (fear and avoidance of performance and social situations), social loneliness, emotional (family and romantic) loneliness, and perceived life stress. These individuals completed the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire (SPAQ, Rosenthal, 1993), a diagnostic questionnaire based on the DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Association, 2000) diagnostic criteria for current Major Depressive Episode, a 29-item version of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (Rosenthal & Heffeman, 1986), the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale - Self-Report version (Liebowitz, 1987), the Sociotropy-Autonomy Scale - Revised (Clark, Steer, Beck, & Ross, 1995), the Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen, Kamarck & Mermelstein, 1983), the Social and Emotional Loneliness Scale for Adults - Short version (DiTommaso & Spinner, 1997), and the Rejection Questionnaire (Coyne, 1976; Hammen & Peters, 1978). Results indicated that compared to the Control group, the SAD and NSD groups when in a depressed state were more sociotropic, feared and avoided social and performance situations to a greater degree, perceived themselves as undergoing more life stress, and experienced more social and family loneliness. No significant differences were found between the NSD and SAD groups, with the exception of SAD having greater seasonal change in their appetite than NSD. When the effects of the depressive scores were partialled out, the three groups were virtually indistinguishable, with the exception of the SAD and NSD groups scoring higher on social anxiety than the Controls.