Relationships among social interest, social problem-solving, life events, and depression: A structural equation analysis.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study used the Factor Analytic Structural Equations Model (FASEM) to test the plausibility of two nested causal models of depression, the Full Model and Restricted Model, in a 2-month prospective study. Subjects were 103 undergraduate students. The Full Model deals with the causal relations among indices of life events, social interest, social problem solving, and depression across time. In contrast, causal relations among indices of life events and depression across time were assessed by the Restricted Model. Both models provided acceptable representations of the observed data. Although both models were accepted by 4 goodness-of-fit criteria, including the Chi-square goodness-of-fit test, the Full Model suggests the specification of more causal factors clarifies the effect of social interest and social problem solving on depression, enables a more complete assessment of depression, and is consistent with a pluralistic view of depression (Craighead, Kennedy, Raczynski, & Dow, 1984). In the present study, two questions were addressed: (1) the causal relation between social interest and social problem solving on depression, and (2) the magnitude of the causal impact of social interest and social problem solving on depression. Contrary to predictions, significant paths from both social interest and social problem solving to depression were not found. However, consistent with predictions, social interest had a stronger effect on depression than social problem solving. Directions for future research, theoretical implications, and possible applications of the Full Model are discussed.