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Seasonality, negative life events and social support in a community sample

  • Erin E. Michalak (a1), Clare Wilkinson (a2), Kerenza Hood (a2), Chris Dowrick (a3) and Greg Wilkinson (a4)...
Abstract
Background

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is now a well-described form of depressive disorder. However, relatively little research has focused upon psychosocial factors and SAD.

Aims

To determine the association between demographic/psychosocial factors and increased reported seasonal patterns of mood disorder (seasonality) and SAD in a community sample in the UK.

Method

A total of 1250 people, aged between 18 and 64 years, randomly selected from a primary care database were screened for SAD. Those above cut-off underwent diagnostic interview and completed several self-report questionnaires. Multivariate analysis was conducted to determine which variables were significantly associated with increased seasonality.

Results

Four factors (having experienced more numerous negative life events, having low levels of social support, being a woman and being non-native) were predictive of higher seasonality Being a woman was predictive of being diagnosed as a case of SAD.

Conclusions

A new association has been identified between increased seasonality, negative life events and social support. Future research should assess the psychosocial causes or consequences of SAD while continuing to examine the biology of the condition.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
E. E. Michalak, Division of Mood Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, 2255 Wesbrook Mall, University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6T 2AI, Canada
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

G. W. is Editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
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Seasonality, negative life events and social support in a community sample

  • Erin E. Michalak (a1), Clare Wilkinson (a2), Kerenza Hood (a2), Chris Dowrick (a3) and Greg Wilkinson (a4)...
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