Title

Which stressors are associated with which forms of depression in a homogenous sample? An analysis of the effects of lifestyle changes and demands on five subtypes of depression

Date of this Version

1-1-2012

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Published version

Bitsika, V., & Sharpley, C.F. (2012). Which stressors are associated with which forms of depression in a homogenous sample? An analysis of the effects of lifestyle changes and demands on five subtypes of depression. German Journal of Psychiatry, 15 (1), 23- 31.

Access the journal's website.

2012 HERDC submission. FoR code: 110319

© Copyright German Journal of Psychiatry, 2012

ISSN

1433-1055

Abstract

Background: Although depression is often considered as a single or unitary construct, evidence indicates the existence of several major subtypes of depression, some of which have distinct neurobiological bases and treatment options.

Objective: To explore the incidence of five subtypes of depression, and to identify which lifestyle changes and stressor demands are associated with each of five established subtypes of depression, within a homogenous non-clinical sample.

Method: 398 Australian university students completed the Effects of University Study on Lifestyle Questionnaire to identify their major stressors, plus the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale to measure their symptomatology. Regression analysis was used to identify which stressors were most powerful predictors of each depression subtype.

Results: The five different subtypes of depression were predicted by a range of different stressors. Incidence of clinically significant scores for the subtypes of depression varied, with some participants experiencing more than one subtype of depression.

Conclusions: Different depression subtypes were predicted by different stressors, potentially challenging the clinical validity of depression as a unitary construct. Although restricted in their generalisability to clinical patient samples, these findings suggest further targets for research with depressed patients.

 

This document has been peer reviewed.