Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Low Sense Of Belonging Is A Predictor Of Depression

Date:
August 11, 1999
Source:
University Of Michigan
Summary:
A psychological sense of belonging is a greater predictor of major depression than other factors commonly associated with depression, such as social support, conflict and loneliness.

Feeling as if you belong is instrumental in overcomingdepression, according to a U-M School of Nursing study

Related Articles


Contact: Amy Reyes
Phone: (734) 647-4411
E-mail: amelynr@umich.edu
Web site: http://www.umich.edu/~newsinfo/Releases/1999/Aug99/r081099a.html

ANN ARBOR---A psychological sense of belonging is a greater predictor of major depression than other factors commonly associated with depression, such as social support, conflict and loneliness, according to a new University of Michigan School of Nursing study.

"Researchers tend to focus much of their attention on social support, but we found that a low sense of belonging was a much stronger predictor of depression than social support," said Reg A. Williams, associate professor of nursing and co-author of the study that appears in the July/August issue of Nursing Research.

The study is based on the results of analysis of 31 clients diagnosed with and in treatment for major depression and 379 community college students. The clients ranged in age from 21 to 75 years old. Of the 31 clients, 51 percent were married and 64.5 percent were women.

The community college students ranged in age from 18 to 72 years; 59 percent were women and of those, 68 percent were single and 8.2 percent were involved in a serious relationship. There was a history of psychiatric treatment in 24 percent of the students.

Williams and Bonnie M. Hagerty, an associate professor of nursing and senior author of the study, analyzed the impact of a psychological sense of belonging, social support, conflict and loneliness on depression.

Other researchers have determined that having strong social support is a key factor in treating depression. But the U-M School of Nursing researchers found that regardless of how strong your social support network is---or in other words, regardless of how many friends you have or how often you socialize with them---if you don't feel as if you belong, your social support system will have little impact on depression outcomes.

People who have a low sense of belonging tend to endorse or agree with statements such as "If I died tomorrow, very few people would come to my funeral" and "I feel like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole," Williams said. People who endorse a statement such as "I generally feel that people accept me" have a higher sense of belonging, he said.

The researchers used a research method called "path analysis" to evaluate four factors that lead to depression: sense of belonging, social support, conflict and loneliness.

Strong social support indirectly played a role in reducing depressive symptoms. However, a low sense of belonging, loneliness and conflict directly played a role in overcoming depression, but none of these factors led as directly to depression, or in as great numbers, as the sense of the belonging.

Major depressive disorder is characterized by persistent depressed mood or sadness lasting greater than two weeks; loss of interest in usual activities; weight loss; sleep disturbances; fatigue; hyperactive or slowed behavior; decreased sexual drive; feelings of worthlessness; difficulty concentrating or making decisions; and recurrent suicidal thoughts.

The disease isn't always easily detected by friends or family members because those who suffer from depression often try to hide it. "One of the things that happens with depression is that they think that no one cares and they can hide how depressed they are from people around them. Clients talked about giving an 'academy award' performance in front of their friends and then going home and crash," Williams said.

"Our research implies that therapists must recognize that the need to get connected with others is paramount in recovering from depression. That idea that you should just go out and have fun with your friends is not an answer. You really have to work on relationships."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Michigan. "Low Sense Of Belonging Is A Predictor Of Depression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990810164724.htm>.
University Of Michigan. (1999, August 11). Low Sense Of Belonging Is A Predictor Of Depression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990810164724.htm
University Of Michigan. "Low Sense Of Belonging Is A Predictor Of Depression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990810164724.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins