Demographic, family, and occupational characteristics associated with major depression: The Harvard study of moods and cycles

B. L. Harlow, L. S. Cohen, M. W. Otto, R. F. Liberman, D. Spiegelman, D. W. Cramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: This study assesses the extent to which women with and without major depression differ by demographic, familial, and occupational characteristics. Method: From a community-based sample, the authors identified 332 women with and 644 women without current or past major depression based on Structured Clinical Interviews for DSM-IV. Demographic and background interviews were conducted in-person. Results: Depressed women were more likely to have gained ≥35 lbs between age 18 and study enrolment (OR = 1.6, 95% CI 1.1-2.5), experienced divorce (OR = 2.0, 95% CI 1.4-2.8), or changed occupations (OR = 1.5, 95% CI 1.1-2.1) compared with non-depressed women. Compared with women with no brothers, those with ≥1 brothers were less likely to have a history of depression (OR = 0.8, 95% CI 0.6-1.1), whereas compared with women with no sisters, those with ≥1 sisters were more likely to have current or past depression (OR = 1.4, 95% CI 1.0-1.9). These findings were not influenced by family sibship size. Conclusion: These results illustrate demographic differences between women with and without major depression and that sibship gender rather than size may also influence risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-217
Number of pages9
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume105
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

Keywords

  • Epidemiologic studies
  • Major depression
  • Occupation
  • Risk factors
  • Sibship

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