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Psychol Med. 1991 May;21(2):505-13.

Life events, social problems and physical health status as predictors of emotional distress in men and women in a community setting.

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Istituto di Psichiatria, Università di Verona, Italy.


The main aim of this study was to construct logistic models of emotional distress (defined as a GHQ-30 score of 6 or greater) in a community sample of 226 men and 225 women. The independent variables included were: sociodemographic characteristics, physical health status, social problems and undesirable life events. Univariate comparisons showed that in both sexes undesirable life events and social problems were associated with emotional distress; in men the presence of physical symptoms and widowed, separated or divorced status also showed such an association. Separate logistic regression models for men and women confirmed the importance of undesirable life events and social problems as predictors for emotional distress. In women there was also a significant interaction effect between the two variables on emotional distress. Sociodemographic characteristics and physical health status did not exert a statistically significant effect in these models.

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