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March 1986

The Validity of Four Definitions of Endogenous Depression: II. Clinical, Demographic, Familial, and Psychosocial Correlates

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1986;43(3):234-244. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1986.01800030052005

• Based on a survey of the classic literature and studies examining the correlates of a clinical diagnosis of endogenous or nonendogenous depression, we found 14 variables that should discriminate endogenous and nonendogenous depressives. We applied four definitions of endogenous depression (Feinberg and Carroll, DSM-III, Research Diagnostic Criteria, and Newcastle) to a consecutive series of 152 unipolar major depressive inpatients. We examined the concordance between the definitions and the relationship between each definition and clinical, demographic, family history, and psychosocial factors. The DSM-III and Newcastle definitions were less inclusive than the other two definitions. We found some support for the validity of each of the four definitions. The validity of the Newcastle scale was the most frequently supported, with the endogenous depressives having a lower rate of personality disorder, marital separations and divorces, familial alcoholism, life events, and nonserious suicide attempts.

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