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Life events and depression in women: a structural equation model

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 July 2009

D. M. Fergusson*
Christchurch Child Development Study, Department of Paediatrics, Christchurch Clinical School of Medicine, New Zealand
L. J. Horwood
Christchurch Child Development Study, Department of Paediatrics, Christchurch Clinical School of Medicine, New Zealand
1 Address for correspondence: Mr D. M. Fergusson, Christchurch Child Development Study, Department of Paediatrics, Christchurch Clinical School of Medicine, Christchurch Public Hospital, Christchurch, New Zealand.


A non-recursive structural equation model designed to examine the reciprocal relationship between life event reports and depressive symptoms in women is presented. The model was fitted to data from a 2-year longitudinal study of life events and depression in a sample of women with 5-year-old children. The findings suggest that life event reports may be influenced by mental state; however, even when this tendency is taken into account, there is still a substantial relationship between life events and depressive symptoms in women. This indicates that it is unlikely that the life events/depression correlation can be explained simply by a tendency for depressed women to over-report life events.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1984

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