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23-03-2020 | Original Article | Uitgave 4/2020

Cognitive Therapy and Research 4/2020

Daily Interpersonal and Noninterpersonal Stress Reactivity in Current and Remitted Depression

Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 4/2020
Erin S. Sheets, Michael F. Armey
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Major stressful life events are known to predict depression onset, but relatively few studies have examined the interplay of daily stress and negative affect, particularly in clinical samples. Preliminary research has been inconclusive whether only current depression is characterized by amplified emotional reactivity to stress, or whether these patterns are equally strong in those with any history of depression.


Twenty-three participants with current major depression, 38 with remitted depression, and 43 with no history of depression completed 2 weeks of ecological momentary assessment to examine reactivity to perceived stress, negative daily events, and interpersonal versus noninterpersonal daily events.


Currently depressed individuals demonstrated greater reactivity (i.e. greater increases in negative affect) in response to daily perceived stress, relative to previously depressed and never depressed individuals. Furthermore, while previously and never depressed individuals exhibited equal reactivity to interpersonal and noninterpersonal stress, currently depressed participants were particularly sensitive to interpersonal negative events.


These microlongitudinal results extend prior longitudinal evidence of the critical role of interpersonal stress in the course of major depression. The findings emphasize the importance of cognitive interventions that target negative interpretations of daily events.

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