A Social and Psychological Model of Depression

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(8), 625–626. Reviews the book, Social Origins of Depression: A Study of Psychiatric Disorder in Women by George W. Brown and Tirril Harris (1978). This book is a report of one of the most extensive and ambitious research projects on depression in recent, years. The research design and size of the samples, the sensitivity of the authors to methodological issues, and the range and significance of the topics addressed all make the book an important monograph for researchers interested in the social and psychological aspects of depression. The purpose of the research was to test a causal model of-clinical depression that linked the individual's everyday life circumstances, at both the level of immediate provoking stresses and the social and psychological context of roles and social class, to the development of a significant depressive disorder. The book is at times a bit confusing to follow because of the multiple samples and procedures discussed. Nevertheless, the book is rich in methodological discourse, data, and speculation, and should certainly serve as a “provoking agent” for social and psychological researchers in the field of depression and psychopathology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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