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The interpersonal context of depression and violent behavior: A social psychological interpretation

NCJ Number
Aggressive Behavior Volume: 45 Issue: 4 Dated: 2019 Pages: 437-449
Date Published
13 pages
Drawing on the aggression and social psychology literatures, this study concludes that depressed actors suffer skills deficits and exhibit hostile communication styles that provoke grievances and disputes.

Depression is a prevalent form of psychopathology that affects millions of individuals worldwide. It is associated with a variety of adverse social and behavioral outcomes. Numerous observational studies have found that depressed individuals have significantly elevated rates of interpersonal violence. As of now, the social mechanisms that explain the association between depression and violence remain understudied and not well understood. The current study suggests that because of these interpersonal tendencies, depression increases involvement in verbal disputes, and that frequent participation in verbal disputes foments social contexts where interpersonal violence is more common. Findings from a series of regression models based on a nationally representative sample of 2,171 respondents offer support for these assumptions. The study suggests a consideration of interpersonal dynamics, particularly verbal disputes, might unlock clues about the association between depression and violence involvement. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019