Life Circumstances and Personal Resources as Predictors of the Ten-Year Course of Depression1

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A 10-year naturalistic study of 313 patients who entered treatment for unipolar depression and a community comparison group of 284 nondepressed adults was conducted. We compared life stressors, social resources, personal resources, and coping among patients who were remitted (N = 76), partially remitted (N = 146), or nonremitted (N = 91). Compared with the controls and the remitted patients, the partially remitted and nonremitted patients consistently experienced more life stressors and fewer social resources, were less easygoing, and relied more on avoidance coping. A less easygoing disposition, fewer close relationships, and more reliance on avoidance coping were associated with higher odds of experiencing a course of partial remission or nonremission. In addition, more depressive symptoms and medical conditions predicted nonremission.

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