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Self-efficacy as a mediator between stressful life events and depressive symptoms: Differences based on history of prior depression

  • Paul K. Maciejewski (a1), Holly G. Prigerson (a2) and Carolyn M. Mazure (a3)
Abstract
Background

Self-efficacy, a characteristic that is protective against depressive symptoms, may be undermined by stressful life events.

Aims

To estimate the effects of stressful life events on self-efficacy, and to examine self-efficacy as a mediator of the effect of stressful life events on symptoms of depression.

Method

Using a sample of 2858 respondents from the longitudinal Americans' Changing Lives study, path analyses were used to evaluate interrelationships between self-efficacy, life events and symptoms of depression controlling for a variety of potentially confounding variables. Separate models were estimated for those with and without prior depression.

Results

For those with prior depression, dependent life events had a significant, negative impact on self-efficacy. For those without prior depression, life events had no effect on self-efficacy.

Conclusions

For those with prior depression, self-efficacy mediates approximately 40% of the effect of dependent stressful life events on symptoms of depression.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Paul K. Maciejewski, Donaghue Women's Health Investigator Program, Yale University School of Medicine, PO Box 208091, New Haven, CT06520, USA
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

Sponsored by the Donaghue Women's Health Investigator Program at Yale University.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Self-efficacy as a mediator between stressful life events and depressive symptoms: Differences based on history of prior depression

  • Paul K. Maciejewski (a1), Holly G. Prigerson (a2) and Carolyn M. Mazure (a3)
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