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Sensation-seeking, life events and depression: The Cardiff Depression Study

  • Anne Farmer (a1), Kate Redman (a2), Tanya Harris (a2), Arshad Mahmood (a2), Stephanie Sadler (a2) and Peter McGuffin (a3)...
Abstract
Background

The relationship between adversity and genetic risk factors in depression could be mediated by familial ‘hazard prone’ traits, as reflected in high levels of sensation-seeking.

Aims

To examine whether high sensation-seeking scores are associated with more adverse life events resulting in depression.

Method

In a sib-pair design, 108 probands with depression and their siblings and 105 healthy control subjects and their siblings were compared for psychopathology, life events and scores on the Sensation-Seeking Questionnaire (SSQ).

Results

The SSQ scores were correlated negatively with depression, were familial and were correlated positively with less severe events, but not the severe events typically associated with depressive onsets.

Conclusions

The SSQ measures a familial personality trait and depression is associated with lower scores. Although high sensation-seeking is associated with a higher rate of life events, these carry little threat.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Professor Anne Farmer, MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, UK
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

Study funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Footnotes
References
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Farmer, A. Harris, T. Redman, K. et al (2000) Cardiff Depression Study. A sib-pair study of life events and familiality in major depression. British Journal of Psychiatry, 176, 150155.
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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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Sensation-seeking, life events and depression: The Cardiff Depression Study

  • Anne Farmer (a1), Kate Redman (a2), Tanya Harris (a2), Arshad Mahmood (a2), Stephanie Sadler (a2) and Peter McGuffin (a3)...
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