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The social impact of the response elicited by depressed behaviour Manly, Patricia Colleen


A fundamental assumption underlying any interpersonal model of depression is that depressed social behaviour evokes a predictable response from others that in turn contributes to depression. Whereas most recent research has focused on the response that the depressed elicit in others, the present study examined the social impact of that response. The central premise of interpersonal models of depression can be expressed more precisely in terms of interpersonal circumplex complementarity theory: The hostile-submissive quality that has been reported in depressed behaviour evokes a complementary response from others (labelled RD). That response, in turn, evokes more hostility and submissiveness in the depressed, thus perpetuating the cycle. To have clinical relevance, RD would also be expected to induce relatively negative mood. Predictions regarding possible intrapersonal mediating variables were derived from critics and proponents of cognitive models of depression. After initial mood was assessed, each of 12 0 female subjects was shown a videotape depicting either RD or a control condition. Each subject then completed questionnaires assessing mood, her perceptions of what she would be like in the company of the person she had watched, and the social impact of the person she had watched. It was predicted that, compared to the control group, a) subjects exposed to RD would show more negative mood, b) they would anticipate that they would be more hostile and submissive in the company of the person they saw, and c) RD would impact as the interpersonal complement of hostility-submission, whether according to the traditional model of interpersonal complementarity or a facet analytic approach. These three predictions were borne out and the facet analytic prediction was supported. Further predictions that preexisting depressive symptoms and cognitions would correlate with mood and social acceptance for experimental group subjects were not supported. Methodological and theoretical implications are discussed.

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