A Study Of Depression And Relationships

This essay has a total of 1117 words and 5 pages.

A Study Of Depression And Relationships

A Study of Depression and Relationships


A primary concern for Psychology research is depression. Depression
affects a great deal of our population and many aspects of an individual's
mental health and well-being. In my research of books, articles, and Internet
pages on depression, I chose to base my paper mainly on a 1994 article of a
study of depression, entitled Depression, Working Models of Others, and
Relationship Functioning, by Katherine B. Carnelley, Paula R. Pietromonaco, and
Kenneth Jaffe.
This study focuses on the idea that the type of care received in
childhood, positive or negative, has a great effect on relationship functioning
later in adulthood. But there are two links between child-rearing and
relationship functioning: attachment style and depression. Both derive from
the type of care received in childhood and affect relationship functioning, and
both exert a reciprocal influence on each other in adulthood. The researchers
of this study wanted to examine all the correlation's between type of care,
attachment style, depression, and relationship functioning. They proposed a
three part hypothesis: 1. A less positive childhood would result in an insecure
attachment style and depression, 2. Depressives would exhibit a preoccupied or
fearful style of attachment, and 3. attachment style would affect relationship
functioning more than depression.
The research was conducted in two independent studies. The first study
sampled 204 college women. Women were studied based on the very plausible
assumptions that women are more susceptible to depression than men and
relationships carry more significance with women than men. The women were
screened using the Beck Depression Inventory, a popular method of testing
consisting of 21 multiple choice questions to be administered by a clinician.
The questions range in scope from feelings of sadness to loss of libido. From
these results, a sample of 163 was taken: 73 whose scores indicated mild
depression. From this point the researchers administered various inventories to
assess the type of childhood care given, romantic attachment styles, and
relationship functioning.
Depression appears to be the independent variable, because the sample
was selected based on desired levels of depression. Once the distinction in
levels of depression had been made, childhood care, attachment style, and
relationship functioning were assessed in relation to depression.
The actual distinction between independent and dependent variables is
confusing. There are almost ten variables in this experiment: mild depression,
no depression, dating or not dating (101 out of 163 were involved in stable
dating relationships that averaged 19.99 months), positive or negative child-
rearing, attachment style (fearful, preoccupied, or secure), and relationship
functioning (overall satisfaction, quality of interactions with partner, and
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