Navigation Links
Divorce elevates risk for depression, but only for some people
Date:8/26/2013

Divorce is associated with an increased risk of future depressive episodes but only for those who already have a history of depression, according to a new study published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

"Stressful life events like divorce are associated with significant risk for prolonged emotional distress, including clinically-significant depression," notes psychological scientist and lead researcher David Sbarra of the University of Arizona. "At the same time, we know from considerable research that the experience of divorce is non-random. Some people are much greater risk for experiencing a divorce than other people."

This led Sbarra and colleagues to wonder: Is it divorce, or the factors leading to divorce such as marital discord, neuroticism, or hostility that increase the risk for depression?

To investigate this question, the researchers took advantage of data from the longitudinal, nationally representative Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) study. The researchers matched each participant who had separated or divorced during the study to a continuously married person in the study who had the same propensity to divorce, based on a number of previously identified factors. By comparing participants to their match, the researchers were able to account for the fact that it's impossible to randomly assign people to divorce or stay married.

In line with previous research, the results showed that divorce had a significant effect on subsequent depression.

But, as Sbarra and colleagues found, the full story was a bit more complex.

Specifically, divorce or separation only increased the likelihood of a later depressive episode for those participants who reported a history of depression. In fact, nearly 60% of adults with a history of depression who divorced during the study experienced a depressive episode at the follow-up assessment.

For all other participants including those who had a history of depression but hadn't divorced, and those who divorced but had no history of depression there was no elevated risk for a future depressive episode. Only about 10% of these people experienced a depressive episode at follow-up.

The magnitude of the difference between the two groups 60% versus 10% surprised the researchers.

"These findings are very important because they affirm the basic notion that most people are resilient in the face of divorce and that we do not see severe disorder among people without a history of a past depressive illness," says Sbarra. "If you've never experienced a significant depression in your life and you experience a separation or divorce, your odds for becoming depressed in the future are not that large at all."

The findings suggest that separation and divorce may exacerbate underlying risk but don't, in and of themselves, increase rates of depression. It's possible, the researchers speculate, that people with a history of depression have a limited capacity to cope with the demands of the transition out of marriage, but they caution that the specific mechanisms have yet to be explored.

"Do these people blame themselves for the divorce? Do they ruminate more about the separation? Are they involved in a particularly acrimonious separation? These questions deserve much greater attention," says Sbarra.

Sbarra and colleagues also note that the research can't speak to potentially interesting differences between those adults who separate versus those who divorce, since the two categories were combined in the study.

Nonetheless, the researchers believe the new findings have significant clinical implications:

"It is very important for clinicians to know that a person's history of depression is directly related to whether or not they will experience a depressive episode following the end of marriage," says Sbarra. "People with a history of depression who become divorced deserve special attention for support and counseling services."


'/>"/>

Contact: Anna Mikulak
amikulak@psychologicalscience.org
202-293-9300
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Source of conflict: Study finds factors that can shape divorced mothers co-parenting experiences
2. Divorced parents in hostile relationships use technology to sabotage communication, MU study finds
3. Divorce costs thousands of women health insurance coverage
4. Divorce Puts Women at Risk of Losing Health Insurance, Study Finds
5. Parents addiction, unemployment and divorce are risk factors for childhood abuse
6. Dr. Edward Farber Publishes Raising the Kid You Love with the Ex You Hate Powerful Advice for Co-parenting After Divorce
7. Pozzuolo Rodden PC, Philadelphia Estate Planning Attorneys, Announce the Release of the Article "How To Use A Trust To Protect Your Children's Inheritance From Divorce"
8. Children of divorced parents more likely to start smoking
9. Parents Divorce May Up Kids Odds for Smoking as Adults
10. Having more siblings means less chance of divorce as adult
11. Irregular heart beat elevates risk of kidney failure
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... As part of their 2015 end of year ... Table Foundation (MDRTF), has gifted $10,000 to University of Chicago to support ovarian cancer ... Cundiff. , “We are honored to support a promising young investigator from Dr. Lengyel’s ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... The ... World Molecular Imaging Congress (WMIC), will be held in New York City, NY ... “Imaging Biology…Improving Therapy.” The congress will highlight and emphasize how imaging reveals a ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , ... February 10, 2016 , ... Early this week, ... and raise awareness of Nestlé KITKAT as the first global confectionery brand sourced from ... cocoa farmers and the quality of their product, through activities that focus on better ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... care communications company offering education, research and medical media, has launched ... working in infectious diseases. , As the all-inclusive resource for infectious disease ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Walton Beach, Florida (PRWEB) , ... February 10, ... ... the innovative weather-forecasting company is unveiling its revolutionary new 2.0 version at the ... platform, MetLoop has “put the power of the world's most advanced weather technology ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Vanda) (NASDAQ: VNDA ... fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2015. ... was a transformational year for Vanda with the continued ... market approval of HETLIOZ for Non-24," said Mihael H. ... Fanapt to our U.S. product portfolio builds on this ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , February 10, 2016 ... Analyzers (Liquid & Gas), and Spectroscopy Market by Industry (Oil ... Beverage, Pulp & Paper, Metal & Mining, and Others), ... MarketsandMarkets, the global market is expected to grow to ... of 8.6% between 2015 and 2020. Browse ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  Resolve Therapeutics, ... transformative new approaches to the treatment of lupus ... of a multiple ascending dose study in patients ... compound RSLV-132. --> ... placebo-controlled multiple ascending dose study of RSLV-132 in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: