Advertisement
 

doctorslounge.com

 
Powered by
Careerbuilder

 

                    Home  |  Forums  |  Humor  |  Advertising  |  Contact
   Ask a Doctor

   News via RSS

   Newsletter

   Psychiatry

   News

 

 Conferences


   CME

   Forum Archives

   Diseases

   Symptoms

   Labs

   Procedures

   Drugs

   Links
   Specialties

   Cardiology

   Dermatology

   Endocrinology

   Fertility

   Gastroenterology

   Gynecology

   Hematology

   Infections

   Nephrology

   Neurology

   Oncology

   Orthopedics

   Pediatrics

   Pharmacy

   Primary Care

   Psychiatry

   Pulmonology

   Rheumatology

   Surgery

   Urology

   Other Sections

   Membership

   Research Tools

   Medical Tutorials

   Medical Software

 

 Headlines:

 
 

Back to Psychiatry Articles

Friday 15th July, 2005

 

American Journal of Psychiatry article describes social support and risk for major depression in opposite-sex twins.

 
 

tellfrnd.gif (30x26 -- 1330 bytes)send to a friend
 
prntfrnd.gif (30x26 -- 1309 bytes)printer friendly version
 

  Related
 
  Depression  
   

RICHMOND, Va. (Feb. 1, 2005) ? Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have found that women who feel more loved and supported by their friends, relatives and children are less at risk for major depression than men, suggesting important gender differences in the pathways leading to depression.

In the February issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, the VCU researchers report that among approximately 1,000 adult, opposite-sex, fraternal twin pairs, the female twins reported significantly higher levels of global social support than their twin brothers. The women were more sensitive than the men to the depressongenic effects of low levels of social support, particularly from the co-twin, other relatives, parents and spouses.

"In women, social support was a robust predictor of risk for depression," said Kenneth S. Kendler, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and human genetics in VCU's School of Medicine and lead author on the study. "Women who saw themselves as more loved and cared for and objectively well integrated in positive social groups were well protected against later episodes of major depression.

"However, among the men we found virtually no effect," he said. "In this large sample, we could find no relationship in men between their levels of social support and their risk for depression.

"These findings suggest that men may be more 'immune' or less sensitive to aspects of their social environment with respect to their risk for depression," Kendler said.

Researchers interviewed opposite-sex fraternal twin pairs registered with VCU's Mid-Atlantic Twin Registry. The first interview was conducted between 1993 and 1996, and the second interview was conducted between 1994 and 1998. At the time of the second interview, subjects were between the ages of 21 and 58 years old.

According to Kendler, studying opposite-sex fraternal twin pairs was ideal because the population included women and men who were conceived at the same time, developed in the same uterus and raised in the same family. Factors that may otherwise differ across women and men were ruled out because this population was examined, Kendler said.

Researchers examined the relationship between baseline levels of social support -- assessed for six key social relationships -- and the general level of social integration. The risk for future episodes of major depression was also assessed.

Kendler, who is also director of the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, said these results are consistent with previous literature suggesting that on average, inter-personal relationships are more central to and more valued by women than by men. Women are also more likely to seek emotional support in their social network than are men.

"While the impact of low social support on risk for major depression appears to be less pronounced in men than in women, males may be more sensitive to the adverse health effects of social isolation than are females," he added.

The VCU Mid-Atlantic Twin Registry is under the direction of Judy Silberg, Ph.D., associate professor of human genetics and psychiatry at VCU.

###

The research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics is a multi-disciplined, integrated research program of VCU's Departments of Psychiatry and Human Genetics focused on identifying genes and environments that cause psychiatric diseases and behavioral differences.

advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)
 

Are you a doctor or a nurse?

Do you want to join the Doctors Lounge online medical community?

Participate in editorial activities (publish, peer review, edit) and give a helping hand to the largest online community of patients.

Click on the link below to see the requirements:

Doctors Lounge Membership Application


 

 advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)

 

 



We subscribe to the HONcode principles of the HON Foundation. Click to verify.
We subscribe to the HONcode principles. Verify here

Privacy Statement | Terms & Conditions | Editorial Board | About us
Copyright 2001-2012 DoctorsLounge. All rights reserved.