Diagnostic specificity of the dependent and self-critical personality dimensions in major depression
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Validational studies of self-critical and dependent personality dimensions as vulnerability factors for depression have been tested primarily with depressed samples, employing research designs devised to address state vs. trait and trait-situational congruity issues. In this study we examined the diagnostic specificity to depression of these two personality dimensions, comparing Self-Criticism and Dependency scores as measured by the Depressive Experiences Questionnaire (DEQ) in two samples of outpatients: (1) panic disorder with agoraphobia; and (2) non-psychotic, unipolar major depression. As hypothesized, the two groups differed on Self-Criticism, with the depressed group scoring higher, but no differences were found for Dependency. These findings were similar even when depressed mood was partialed out. These results complement a growing body of research associating Self-Criticism, as specifically measured by the DEQ, with depression.
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