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August 1975

Depressive Symptomatology and Role Function in a General Population

Author Affiliations

From the Institute for Social Research, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1975;32(8):985-991. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1975.01760260049003

Depressive symptomatology, marital satisfaction and functioning, job satisfaction, and social relationships were investigated in 320 respondents comprising 160 married couples. Responses to the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale indicated that 13% of the respondents had scores similar to those obtained by patients with diagnosed depressions and an additional 27% had scores comparable to those of persons with other psychiatric problems.

Responses to a variety of questions about the respondents' social life, job satisfaction, and marital function indicate that increased depressive symptomatology in this general population is associated with a decline in satisfaction and functioning in these areas. The data suggest that this association is not solely due to response bias but is associated with a real decline in function, particularly in the area of child rearing.