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September 1983

Coping and Depression

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(9):1031-1032. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790080113016

To the Editor.—  The recent article by Parker and Brown entitled "Coping Behaviors That Mediate Between Life Events and Depression" (Archives 1982;39:1386-1391) attempted to describe how often coping behaviors are used in response to depression-producing events and which behaviors are effective in reducing the stress of these events. Coping behavior was examined in subjects taken from general practices and in a group of diagnosed depressives while the subjects were both depressed and in remission. There were several conceptual and methodologic issues in the report that undermined the authors' conclusions: the interpretation of coping changes in patients as their symptoms remitted, the confounding of event appraisal and depressed mood, and the validity of the new coping questionnaire measures.While depressed, the patients reported coping differently than controls, but when in remission their coping responses returned to levels similar to those of controls. A plausible (though unmentioned) explanation is plain: all subjects

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