P. de Jonge
- Associations between negative and positive life events and the course of depression
- A Detailed Repeated-Assessments Study
- Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
- Volume | Issue number
- 204 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Although the effects of life events on the onset of depression are well documented, little is known regarding their effects on the course of symptoms in depressed persons. We prospectively examined the associations between negative and positive life events and the course of depressive symptomatology in depressed primary care patients. A total of 267 depressed patients were followed for 3 years using a repeated-assessments design consisting of 36 monthly assessments of the 9 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders depression symptoms and positive and negative life events. We examined whether the severity of depressive symptomatology changed directly after the occurrence of a life event. Negative events were not associated with short-term changes in depressive symptomatology. In contrast, positive events were followed by a significant decrease in depressive symptoms one and two months after their occurrence. These findings may translate into emphasis during treatment on engagement in activities that may increase the chance of positive life experiences.
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