Reduced social connectedness and compassion toward close others in patients with chronic depression compared to a non-clinical sample

  • Reduced social functioning in depression has been explained by different factors. Reduced social connectedness and prosocial motivation may contribute to interpersonal difficulties, particularly in chronic depression. In the present study, we tested whether social connectedness and prosocial motivation are reduced in chronic depression. Forty-seven patients with persistent depression and 49 healthy controls matched for age and gender completed the Inclusion of the Other in the Self Scale (IOS), the Compassionate Love Scale (CLS), the Beck Depression Inventory-II, and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. A Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) with IOS and CLS as dependent variables revealed a highly significant difference between both groups. The IOS and the CLS-subscale Close Others were lower in persistent depression, whereas there was no difference in the CLS-subscale Strangers/Humanity. IOS and CLS-Close Others showed significant negative correlations with depressive symptoms. Connectedness to family members as measured by the IOS was negatively correlated with childhood trauma in patients with chronic depression. The results indicate that compassion and perceived social connection are reduced in depressed patients toward close others, but not to others in general. Implications for the treatment of depression are discussed.
Author:Artjom FrickORCiDGND, Isabel Thinnes, Stefan G. Hofmann, Sabine WindmannORCiDGND, Ulrich StangierORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in psychiatry
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of publication:Lausanne
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/03/18
Date of first Publication:2021/03/18
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/06/09
Tag:chronic depression; compassion; compassionate love; interpersonal closeness; persistent depressive disorder; prosocial motivation; social connectedness
Issue:art. 608607
Page Number:9
First Page:1
Last Page:9
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Open-Access-Publikationsfonds:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0