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Psychological aspects of depression


  • What are signs of depression? Do you know someone who has battled depression? How has it affected you?
  • What are the differences or similarities between adults and adolescents/children experiencing depression?
  • Why is depression so prevalent?


  1. As a fast, growing, and debilitating illness, depression left rampant will have far-reaching consequences into all areas of human existence.
  2. A wide range of professions and laypeople, including parents, church leaders, teachers, student leaders, adolescents, and adults can benefit greatly from the information in the book.
  3. Youth workers should be prepared to help young people or families affected by depression.
Mose Mose cCYS




Gotlilb, I.H. & Hammen, C.L. (1992). Psychological aspects of depression. New York City: John Wiley & Sons.


Depression is "one of the most prevalent and incapacitating of psychological problems" that can strike any person of any age, sex, color, belief, culture, or status. The authors, Gotlib and Hammen, bring a "survey of recent psychological work on depression," and a "book which is readable, judicious and impressively comprehensive and up-to-date." Gotlib and Hammen are professors of psychology and psychiatry, the former at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and the latter at University of California, Los Angeles.

The statistics in the book are depressing. As a psychiatric disorder, depression accounts "for 75% of all psychiatric hospitalizations." Over ten years, a billion people worldwide will develop clinically recognizable depression. The estimated percentage of the general population who will suffer "at least one debilitating episode of depression" begins at 25%. Depression can affect family members as well as the depressed individual, and the cycle will spiral downward until there is intervention or recovery.

This book’s goals are twofold: first, "to provide the reader with a critical review and evaluation of theory and research examining both the cognitive and the interpersonal functioning of depressed persons" and second, "to integrate these literatures concerning both adults and children into a more comprehensive conceptualization of depression."

The chapters in the books include "Symptomatology, Diagnostic Criteria, and Epidermiology of Adult Depression"; "Child and Adolescent Depression: Feature and Correlates"; "Psychological Theories of Depression"; "Assessment of Depression in Adults and Children"; "The Cognitive Functions of Depressed Persons"; "The Social Functioning of Depressed Persons"; "I. Life Events, Social Support and Interpersonal Behavior"; "The Social Functioning of Depressed Persons"; "II. Marital and Family Relationships"; "Treatment of Depression: I. Cognitive Approaches"; "Treatment of Depression: II. Behavioral and Interpersonal Approaches"; and "Toward a Cognitive-Interpersonal Conceptualization of Depression."



The continuity between mild and severe symptoms of depression, or between elevated symptoms and clinically diagnostic conditions, is questionable.

Onset (first episodes) of depressive disorders may have different predictors and vulnerability factors than recurrent episodes.

The best predictor of depression is past depression.

For the majority of people with clinically diagnosable depression, it is a recurrent, and sometimes chronic, disorder.

Depression affects lives.

Depression is a singular term for heterogeneous disorders.

Complicating the understanding of depressive disorders is their high degree of overlap with other psychiatric conditions.

There are important demographic trends in sex differences and age of onset, that need to be explained.

There are various high-risk populations with respect to depression.