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J Affect Disord. 1987 Jul-Aug;13(1):75-82.

Parental representations of neurotic and endogenous depressives.

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  • 1Mood Disorders Unit, Prince Henry Hospital, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia.


Low parental care and parental overprotection have been incriminated as risk factors to depression in adult life. The relevance of these parental characteristics to broad depressive 'types' with their varying imputed aetiologies was assessed by having 26 patients with endogenous depression (ED) and 40 with neurotic depression (ND) complete the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) self-report measure. In comparison to their controls, the EDs did not differ on the parental care and overprotection scales. The NDs, by contrast, were more likely than their controls to report their parents as uncaring and overprotective. A PBI care scale score of less than 10 was particularly discriminating, being reported by 3.8% of the EDs and 37.5% of the NDs. While findings support the binary view of depression in terms of broad imputed aetiological factors, several response biases which might influence the findings are considered.

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