The role of personal goals in depressive reaction to adverse life events: a cross-sectional study.
Couyoumdjian, A., Ottaviani, C., Trincas, R., Spitoni, G., Tenore, K., Mancini, F. (2012). The role of personal goals in depressive reaction to adverse life events: a cross-sectional study. The Scientific World Journal Vol. 2012, article ID 810341, 8 pages
Consistent with cognitive views of depression, we aimed to investigate the mediating role of personal goals in the relationship between stressful events and distinct patterns of depressive symptoms in a nonclinical sample. Participants identiﬁed a dysphoric episode that occurred in the previous year by reporting the severity of 12 depressive symptoms and their plausible cause. A goal taxonomy was used to determine how much the event interfered with the achievement of a series of personal goals. After controlling for age and current level of depression, the patterns of symptoms diﬀered based on the triggering events. The relationship between sadness and aﬀective losses was partially mediated by the personal goal of lovableness, and success was a partial mediator in the association between an event of failure and symptoms of worthlessness and anhedonia. Although the cross-sectional design of the study does not allow for conclusions on the direction of eﬀects, ﬁndings suggest the importance of motivational factors in the development of speciﬁc patterns of depressive symptoms to adverse events. Assuming a continuum from low mood to clinical depression, treatment models could beneﬁt from a precise identiﬁcation of the speciﬁc stressors that initiate depressive behaviour
and the personal meaning assigned to those events.