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Social relationship correlates of major depressive disorder and depressive symptoms in Switzerland: nationally representative cross sectional study

Barger, Steven D. and Messerli-Bürgy, Nadine and Barth, Jürgen (2014) Social relationship correlates of major depressive disorder and depressive symptoms in Switzerland: nationally representative cross sectional study. BMC Public Health, 14 (1). p. 273. ISSN 1471-2458

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Publisher’s or external URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-14-273


BACKGROUND: The quality and quantity of social relationships are associated with depression but there is less evidence regarding which aspects of social relationships are most predictive. We evaluated the relative magnitude and independence of the association of four social relationship domains with major depressive disorder and depressive symptoms. METHODS: We analyzed a cross-sectional telephone interview and postal survey of a probability sample of adults living in Switzerland (N=12,286). Twelve-month major depressive disorder was assessed via structured interview over the telephone using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). The postal survey assessed depressive symptoms as well as variables representing emotional support, tangible support, social integration, and loneliness. RESULTS: Each individual social relationship domain was associated with both outcome measures, but in multivariate models being lonely and perceiving unmet emotional support had the largest and most consistent associations across depression outcomes (incidence rate ratios ranging from 1.55-9.97 for loneliness and from 1.23-1.40 for unmet support, p's<0.05). All social relationship domains except marital status were independently associated with depressive symptoms whereas only loneliness and unmet support were associated with depressive disorder. CONCLUSIONS: Perceived quality and frequency of social relationships are associated with clinical depression and depressive symptoms across a wide adult age spectrum. This study extends prior work linking loneliness to depression by showing that a broad range of social relationship domains are associated with psychological well-being.

Item Type: Article
ID number or DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-273
Keywords: Chicago health; community sample; co-morbidity; comorbidity survey; correlation (Statistics); cross-sectional method; Depression; emotions (Psychology); health interview; Index Medicus; mental depression; mental-disorders; older-adults; psychological distress; risk-factors; Social; social integration; Social isolation; Social networks; Support; Swiss Health Survey; Swiss Health Survey; Switzerland; telephone interviewing; united-states
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Faculty/Staff
Department/Unit: College of Social and Behavioral Science > Psychological Sciences
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2015 16:33
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/467

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