Prospective tests of the impact of sociotropy and autonomy on the course of depression are lacking. In a sample of 97 cognitive high-risk and 62 cognitive low-risk undergraduates who experienced at least one prospective depressive episode, the interactions of sociotropy and interpersonal life events and autonomy and achievement-related life events were examined as predictors of four indicators of the course of depression. Initial analyses failed to support the hypothesis that global scores for sociotropy and autonomy interact with domain-congruent life events to predict the course indicators. The autonomy-achievement events interaction predicted less severe episodes, contrary to hypothesis. Then, factors hypothesized to underlie Sociotropy (Fear of Criticism and Rejection; Preference for Affiliation) and Autonomy (Independent Goal Attainment; Sensitivity to Others’ Control; Bieling et al., Cognitive Ther Res 24:763–780, 2000) were also analyzed. The puzzling autonomy-achievement life event interaction was explained by the underlying Independent Goal Attainment factor. Interactions between Fear of Criticism and Rejection and achievement events, and between Sensitivity to Others’ Control and interpersonal events, significantly predicted chronicity, number and severity of episodes. The findings are discussed in terms of the event-congruency hypothesis.