Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The present study was designed to assess the six-month effects of stress, self-esteem, social competence, coping, social, and family support on the level of functioning and recovery status of 41 depressed and 43 nondepressed psychiatric inpatients. Diagnostic evaluations and level of functioning were based on DSM-III-R (A.P.A., 1987) criteria using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R - Patient Version (SCID-P; Spitzer, Williams, Gibbon, & First, 1989). Patients were interviewed and completed self-report questionnaires assessing each of the psychosocial variables at three different times: shortly after hospital admission (Time 1), one (Time 2), and six months after discharge (Time 3).;At Time 1, compared with nondepressed patients, depressed patients reported greater perceived stress and deficiencies in self-esteem, perceived family acceptance, and satisfaction with supports. There was a trend for depressed patients to report greater social discomfort than nondepressed patients. The two groups did not differ with respect to coping, number of supports or perceived family criticism. Comparisons of depressed and nondepressed patients' responses across the three time samples indicated that depressed patients continued to report less satisfaction with social supports regardless of recovery status. Depressed patients also reported greater perceived stress and lower self-esteem than did nondepressed patients. However, both depressed and nondepressed patients' responses on these two variables improved with recovery. These findings suggest that most of the deficits exhibited by depressed individuals during the acute phase of illness are symptoms rather than longstanding personal attributes.;Only one omnibus hierarchical regression equation was significant. Time 1 symptoms significantly predicted Time 2 functioning. Diagnosis, the psychosocial variables, and the interaction terms of stress with each resource variable were not significant predictors of functioning or recovery status at Times 2 or 3. Regressions assessing the individual psychosocial factors indicated that previous functioning predicted subsequent functioning and recovery status. Further, Time 1 stress and self-esteem significantly predicted Time 2 functioning. However, most of the variance was accounted for by previous functioning. It was suggested that either other variables need to be considered, or a more effective research design needs to be implemented to test the predictive relationship between psychosocial variables and later functioning.



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