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Chronobiol Int. 2001 Sep;18(5):875-91.

A longitudinal investigation of seasonal variation in mood.

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Department of Psychology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.


A prospective panel study was conducted to measure seasonality of mood in a random community sample in Melbourne, Australia (N = 245). Based on research into the structure of human mood, it was predicted that a lowering of mood in winter relative to summer would be observed in positive affect (PA) and behavioral engagement (BE), but not negative affect (NA). These variables were measured across summer and winter for 3 years. Consistent with the majority of research in the Northern Hemisphere, analyses on the entire sample found evidence of a small prospective season effect on the BE scale (explaining 2.1% of variance in BE scores). Also, as expected, no season effect was seen on the NA scale. In the entire sample, the season effect was not significant for PA, but joint factor analysis of the BE, PA, and NA scales confirmed that the season effect seen in the BE scale was largely due to items that were pure measures of PA. Winter pattern seasonality was both reliable across measures and significantly more marked among the subgroup of respondents who self-identified winter pattern of mood on the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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