Personality, interpersonal behavior, and depression: co-existence of stress-specific moderating and mediating effects Academic Article uri icon


  • Moderating and mediating models of the depressogenic effect of personality (dependency and self-criticism), interpersonal behavior (excessive reassurance-seeking), and specific life stressors were examined. The moderating model posits that these factors augment each others' depressogenic effects. The mediating model postulates that personality and interpersonal behavior generate life stress, resulting in depression. Support for both models was found in a two-wave longitudinal study of undergraduates ( N =198). Family and friends-related stress moderated the effect of dependency, and a wide range of life events mediated the effect of self-criticism on depression. Reassurance-seeking behavior predicted only spouse-related stress. Results illuminate the need to assess specific, rather than general, life stress domains, and suggest that the vulnerability of dependency is reactive, whereas that of self-criticism is proactive.

publication date

  • January 1, 2004