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A SEVERE TEST OF INTERPERSONAL THEORY OF DEPRESSION AMONG CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS

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Abstract:

We attempted to place Coyne's (1976) interpersonal theory of depression in grave danger of refutation among a highly specialized psychiatric sample (76 criminal defendants referred for psychiatric evaluation). We assessed whether mood-disordered subjects scored lower on an index of social contact than nondepressed subjects. Consistent with interpersonal theory, depressed subjects obtained lower scores on the social contact measure than nondepressed subjects — to our knowledge, the first results to support the diagnostic specificity component of Coyne's theory among a clinical sample. Number of co-morbid diagnoses was not significantly related to social contact. It appears that Coyne's theory possesses explanatory power, even when subjected to a relatively severe empirical test.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1998.26.1.23

Publication date: January 1, 1998

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