From the APS Journal Archive: “Life Stress and Major Depression”

“Life Stress and Major Depression” by Scott M. Monroe1 and Mark W. Reid2 was published in Current Directions in Psychological Science in April 2009 and has been cited 11 times (via Web of Science) since publication.

Click here to read the article in full.


People have long believed that adversity and stress contribute to emotional problems in general and to depression in particular. A considerable body of research has supported this intuition, documenting a consistent association between major stressful life events and the onset of clinical depression. However, most individuals under stress do not become depressed, sometimes depression develops without prior stress, and distinguishing psychological distress from major depression can be diagnostically challenging. In varying forms and degrees, life stress may play multiple roles in relation to major depression. In this article, we outline the opportunities and obstacles associated with conceptualizing depression from a life-stress perspective and discuss the implications for future research.

1University of Notre Dame
2University of Oregon

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