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Dependency is linked to depression in clinical theory and research, although inadequate evidence exists establishing dependency as a stable personality risk factor for depression. The Depressive Experiences Questionnaire (DEQ; Blatt, D’Afflitti, & Quinlan, 1976, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 85, 383–389) has shown two subfactors within dependency, “neediness” or more immature dependency, and “connectedness” or more mature dependency (Rude & Burnham, 1995, Cognitive Therapy and Research, 19, 323–340). A 2.5 year prospective study of 168 nondepressed individuals, a subset of the larger Temple-Wisconsin Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression (CVD) Project sample, was used to examine whether neediness was a risk factor for major depression. Results demonstrated that neediness was a stable risk factor for major depression, controlling for concurrent depressive symptoms, but not controlling for past depressive episodes. Further, this study evaluated the congruency hypothesis that individuals become depressed after experiencing stressful life events matching their particular vulnerabilities. No evidence was found for congruency with respect to neediness, as indicated by a nonsignificant neediness × interpersonal stress interaction. These findings provide partial support for considering neediness a stable depressogenic personality vulnerability. They also augment the accumulating inconsistencies in tests of the congruency hypothesis.
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- Neediness and Interpersonal Life Stress: Does Congruency Predict Depression?
Lauren B. Alloy
- Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers