Perceptions of depression and reactions to a depressive stimulus in recovered -depressed and never -depressed
This study investigated perceptions of and reactions to depression among recovered-depressed (RD) and never-depressed (ND) adults from the community. Participants completed a revised version of the Self Appraisal Questionnaire (Coyne & Calarco, 1995), reworded to assess the perceptions of others' depressive experiences. They also listened to audiotapes of confederates reading depressive and non-depressive scripts, and completed measures assessing their reactions to the tapes. Contrary to prediction, neither history of depression nor depression proneness predicted perceptions of or reactions to depression. However, higher depression proneness significantly correlated with stronger beliefs about depression contagion. Likewise, stronger contagion beliefs and lower levels of empathic responding significantly predicted behavioral rejection of the depressive stimulus. Results are discussed in context of interpersonal theory of depression.