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Converging evidence for enduring perceptions of low social status in individuals in remission from depression.

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Gillard, Julia A 
Gormley, Siobhan 


BACKGROUND: The risk of depressive relapse and recurrence is associated with social risk factors that may be amplified by a submissive socio-cognitive profile. METHODS: In Study 1 we aimed to identify perceptions of low social status in a community sample (N = 613) with a self-reported history of mental health difficulties (n = 232) and, more specifically in Study 2 (N = 122), in individuals in clinical remission from depression (n = 18), relative to a never-depressed control group (n = 64), and relative to a group experiencing a current depressive episode (n = 40). RESULTS: In Study 1, a total of 225 of the 232 participants in the self-reported mental health difficulties group opted to provide further information regarding their mental health history, of whom 153 (68%) reported a history of anxiety, 168 (74.7%) reported a history of depression, and 13 (5.8%) reported an unspecified mental health history. Elevated depressive symptoms were associated with perceptions of low social status which significantly differed between individuals with and without a self-reported history of mental health difficulties. In Study 2 we found enduring perceptions of low social status in remitted depressed individuals. LIMITATIONS: We were unable to discern between historical or current clinical diagnosis in the community sample of Study 1, as we were reliant on self-report. We were unable to explore the effects of medication or causal relationships between depressive symptoms and social status as the studies were cross-sectional in nature. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that evolutionarily rooted socio-cognitive profiles could impact affiliative processes and may confer increased vulnerability to future depressive episodes.



Case-Control, Community sample, Major depressive disorder, Remitted depression, Social status, Anxiety, Cross-Sectional Studies, Depression, Humans, Perception, Psychological Distance

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J Affect Disord

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Elsevier BV
MRC (unknown)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00005/4)