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Seasonality, negative life events and social support in a community sample

Michalak, Erin Elizabeth, Wilkinson, Clare Elizabeth, Hood, Kerenza, Dowrick, Chris and Wilkinson, Greg 2003. Seasonality, negative life events and social support in a community sample. The British Journal of Psychiatry 182 (5) , pp. 434-438. 10.1192/bjp.182.5.434

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Background Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is now a well-described form of depressive disorder. However, relatively little research has focused upon psychosocial factors and SAD. Aims To determine the association between demographic/psychosocial factors and increased reported seasonal patterns of mood disorder (seasonality) and SAD in a community sample in the UK. Method A total of 1250 people, aged between 18 and 64 years, randomly selected from a primary care database were screened for SAD. Those above cut-off underwent diagnostic interview and completed several self-report questionnaires. Multivariate analysis was conducted to determine which variables were significantly associated with increased seasonality. Results Four factors (having experienced more numerous negative life events, having low levels of social support, being a woman and being non-native) were predictive of higher seasonality. Being a woman was predictive of being diagnosed as a case of SAD. Conclusions A new association has been identified between increased seasonality, negative life events and social support. Future research should assess the psychosocial causes or consequences of SAD while continuing to examine the biology of the condition.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrists
ISSN: 0007-1250
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2017 01:35

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