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01-06-2009 | Original Article | Uitgave 3/2009

Cognitive Therapy and Research 3/2009

Past Depression and Gender Interact to Influence Emotional Reactivity to Daily Life Stress

Tijdschrift:
Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 3/2009
Auteurs:
Mathilde M. Husky, Carolyn M. Mazure, Paul K. Maciejewski, Joel D. Swendsen

Abstract

The present investigation examined emotional reactivity to stress in men and women with and without prior depression. Subjects with remitted depression (n = 55) and healthy controls with no history of psychiatric illness (n = 55) were studied using Experience Sampling Methodology to assess daily stressors and depressed mood. Main effects were observed for both female gender and past depression in increasing emotional reactivity to daily stressors. However, women experienced significantly greater emotional reactivity than men only among healthy controls and not among those with remitted depression. Formerly depressed men were more reactive to stress than men who never experienced depression, while no differences were observed for women across these groups. These findings suggest that a prior episode of depression renders men and women more equivalent in terms of stress vulnerability, thus helping to explain why gender differences in depression prevalence change as a function of prior episodes.

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