Cognitive-personality characteristics as direct predictors of unipolar major depression
Increasing evidence indicates that multiple risk factors can contribute directly to depression. The current work explores the direct relationships between the cognitive-personality characteristics of sociotropy-autonomy and depression in a sample of 43 patients with DSM-IV unipolar major depression and 43 nondepressed community controls. Controls were matched to cases on age, race, and sex, and all analyses controlled for the effects of adverse life events and socioeconomic status. Specific subscales of sociotropy (i.e., concern about disapproval) and autonomy (i.e., need for control) were strong predictors of depressive status independent of the occurrence of stressful life events. Findings indicate that it remains useful to examine cognitive-personality characteristics as direct predictors of depression, and that core features of these cognitive-personality styles are likely to provide a better measure of depressive vulnerability than are global indices.